Will this next phase coming out of the pandemic be more challenging to CEOs than going into the pandemic?

(Image by Daniel Schludi, Unspash)

In March of 2020, CEOs were faced with lockdowns, closures, moving to remote workers where possible, and a lack of knowledge about leading through a pandemic. No one had the first-hand experiences to apply. Compounded by being an electric election year, the challenges were paramount. As we move into 2021, with vaccinations in progress, far more knowledge of Covid-19, and nearly a year of workforce changes to all remote or hybrid remote/office workers, CEO mindsets have to take their companies to the next level.

Many tech companies, especially UC/UCaaS/video conferencing companies have had tremendous growth years, for example Zoom. Others were acquired (i.e. BlueJeans, by Verizon; Modcam, by Cisco; Highfive, by Dialpad) as work from home posed new challenges of security and scale not yet planned for.

Let’s take a look at how one MSP, Managed Service Provider, in the Networking, security, and UCaas market is choosing to execute in post-pandemic days. Mark Essayian, President and CEO of KME Systems, Lake Forest, CA has empowered his leadership team through open conversations to guide KME through its journey. Dubbed, “Answer Journey”, is intended to define the issues, define the roles of the people to create the answers, prepare and adjust the outcomes as new data is determined and then the plan is implemented.

It is Mark’s leadership driving the best practice to use his trusted leadership team to map out the business processes needed to adapt to changing situations, keeping clients satisfied and employees engaged.

The employee-related issues:

  • – Work from home vs. office, and what is the appropriate hybrid mix?
  • – What new metrics should be tracked and measured to grow the business?
  • – How best to keep the company culture intact?
  • – How do you keep the team connected and engaged?
  • – How do you protect all data, reputation, people, and profits?
  • – What other issues might arise? Since no one knows everything, define a process to address and prioritize the issues and projects to address.

Over the past year, since lockdowns and work-from-home became the new normal, KME has adapted and adjusted to making sure all clients were successfully working from home, prioritize business issues, and building their foundation for this next phase in the post-pandemic days.

Another CEO, who chose not to be identified, wants all employees back in the office. The issues this company needs to plan for include protecting the people and the company:

  • – Masks worn at all times?
  • – Hand sanitizer entering the building and in every office
  • – What if someone gets Covid, what is the protocol? Who quarantines? Who handles contact tracing?
  • – What are travel policies? Some state locations require quarantine, so who pays? This CEO travels as do some of his staff.

If you are a CEO, what are your plans in the coming year? Will you share your plans? I am sure many would be interested in brainstorming ideas if they don’t yet have a plan in place. Even if they have a plan, other CEOs may be enlightened by the ideas you are considering. There are no precedents, and this is a time for creative ideas.