After a major crisis, two forces often determine the direction of the economy:
One is the habitual recovery, that is, the sharp rebound after a deep fall, This is a natural recovery of human economic activities, after the psychological panic subsided back to normal. There will be bread, and we will surely survive and get through it. It’s just a matter of time.
The other force is that the conditions we take for granted have changed. We are finding that the fundamentals of the economy and business, especially what we took for granted before the crisis, are changing; Or changes that we thought would come a long way later, suddenly become reality. Whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur, you’re in it before you know it. Not only are suppliers no longer available, but suppliers may disappear; Not only the user is gone, and the original access to the user channel is not working.
For the first force, I think time and timing are the most important.
For the second force, what we thought was constant has become a new variable, and a flood of new variables has come along, and we face too much uncertainty. The old ways don’t solve new problems. So the process of rebuilding confidence will take longer and meander.
Whether it’s a neighborhood service chain or a major international brand I’m familiar with, I keep hearing that some of their branches or factories quietly closed during the outbreak and then stopped opening.
During the epidemic, about globalization, about the country, about the family, about our environment and the planet, the individual thinks alone and learns about himself through the virus. Also, about business, like to remind you of 10 of the most noteworthy trends for businesses.
The emotional connection between people and technology
Technology is so integrated into our lives that you don’t feel it anymore. My phone and I can’t be separated for a moment. The Internet has changed from a tool to a dependency in daily life, and the collaborative relationship between people and intelligent machines has become closer in work. People and technology to establish a more trusting relationship, in the future, can be virtualized as much as possible.
Technology has gone from disrupting business to being domesticated by business. Taking conference software as an example, the epidemic has brought about a surge in zoom users, and the technology giants have also successively launched conference software, including PC, mobile, conference venue, enterprise level and impromptu, which have created countless subdivided products to serve people’s needs in various scenarios. In Africa, technology companies are pushing for universal mobile payments and timely disbursement of relief funds. The epidemic has accelerated and deepened the pervasive benefits of digital technology, which increasingly needs to be personified in terms of services and products themselves.
Sustainability of consumption
People have paid unprecedented attention to health, from personal health to family health to community health, to the whole environment, to climate change, and to re-cognition of healthy lifestyle. Consumers will personally feel the fragility of the human living environment and embody the concept of sustainability in their consumption.
Some emerging consumption propositions will emerge, focusing on the carbon emissions generated in the production of consumer goods, on the environmental responsibility of consumer brands, on moderate consumption, and on the reduction of waste and garbage generated in the consumption process.
The return of familism This is not only because of home isolation, but also because home and family are places of comfort in an insecure environment and a socially alienated world. Seal the function of the city during the family need to be self-sufficient, restart after economic and normal social life, around the family consumption and service will be increased, a large part of will to take-out from the restaurant, to the kitchen, from theaters to the sitting room, household facilities and the environment will upgrade, surrounding communities of consumption and service mode, will adjust.
Consumers and users are sensitive to identity
The social stratification, grouping and diversification basically take shape online, which is more subdivided and more distinct than offline. People are more sensitive to their identity, and also pay attention to the consumption display and attitude expression of friends and themselves in online social circle. Whether it’s the diary debate or the back-and-forth banter, it’s more sensitive to online identity. Consumers will also be more sensitive to personal privacy.
Flexible office style, new collaborative style, new organizational style
Some tech giants have already announced that they won’t consider returning employees to the office until 2020. Home working combined with office work, including third space work, flexible work, telecommuting will become the norm. This, in turn, will drive the new design and construction of traditional offices, office buildings, and even business buildings, parks and central business districts. Behind this is the change in the way enterprises collaborate with their eco-partners and within enterprises, seeking new efficiency boundaries and innovation possibilities.
The organization and management of enterprises will also change. The performance and performance measurement of the team and employees, as well as the internal management of the company, including the sense of belonging and culture of employees, all need innovation.
The dynamism and opportunity of business comes from contact. Online contact will replace a large part of offline human contact. Innovations in online contact will erupt. The most obvious manifestation is exhibition, seminar, forum, etc. All large crowd gatherings are unlikely to return to pre-epidemic levels, and in particular large-scale cross-border movements of people will be difficult to recover for a long time. International trade shows will be affected the most, as services related to international trade will move more quickly online.
China’s Canton fair has moved online, while Alibaba’s international virtual fair has become the norm. Virtualization offsets the line and creates new contacts, bringing new results and efficiencies to the entire business and the exchange of ideas.
Redefining the city
The hardest hit areas are in cities, especially international and metropolitan areas. Changes in people’s understanding and behavior of social interaction, public transportation, central business district, and consumption will affect the function and planning of a city. And cities will react very differently.
In London, for example, because people are reluctant to use public transport, the city will open up more sidewalks and bike lanes. In Beijing, people will drive themselves more, resulting in more congestion. These are all for health reasons. Public transport should ensure public health and integrate with intelligent sharing networks.
In addition, cities also need new growth drivers, and China will lead an urban revolution in the field of smart travel, which is a huge industrial cluster: 5G – self-driving/electric vehicles – smart/green/healthy travel – Internet of things/energy system.
Intelligent manufacturing and industrial Internet of things
China is home to the world’s largest manufacturing sector and a hub for global supply chains. The disruption of the supply chain during the epidemic and the difficulty in resuming work will accelerate the process of intelligent manufacturing. Higher degree of automation and intelligence, can cope with supply chain shocks, can maintain the continuity of work. The factory becomes the biggest scene of digitalization, and the use of more sensors, big data, intelligent prediction, detection, operation and maintenance technologies, the coordination between human and robot, the control and coordination between machine and machine, mutual learning and decision-making will speed up the development.
The impact will accelerate changes in business, which are already evident in some industries, particularly services. Mainstream education became online almost overnight. During the epidemic, some university professors told me that the school required every teacher to master various online teaching tools quickly, because online teaching would be the norm in the future.
After the outbreak, some Chinese cities have become world leaders in the online delivery of government services. The health industry and public health management will depend entirely on big data in the future. Apple and Google have teamed up to create an international health code for billions of users.
Because of external challenges, those enterprises that hesitate to change or look ahead and behind will be pushed forward by The Times, and the boundaries of innovation will be constantly redefined. In the media industry with which I am most familiar, the innovations in marketing of social and short videos in China have inspired some of the world’s biggest brands, some of which have already begun to adjust their marketing strategies. In the field of content, the transition from offline to online has accelerated. For example, Disney has stopped paying salaries to 100,000 employees, but the number of online users of its entertainment programs has exploded. Advertising revenues have collapsed and subscribers are growing fast in traditional media that insist on exploring a paid model for premium content.
Leadership in the epidemic era
Survival: the best leadership, like the great expedition leaders and generals in history, can survive a life-or-death test and lead the team to continue the mission of the enterprise.
Change: good business leaders identify new trends, new directions, and new opportunities in the context of their business mission, and act decisively to initiate change.
Organization and coordination: good managers will adjust the internal and external coordination of the organization in time, grasp the emerging innovation boundaries and technology enabling, and launch new products and innovative marketing methods.
Every business is a health business, every company is a technology company, every virtual business is real.