根據 Boston Consulting Group 波士頓顧問公司的調查，在這波 COVID-19 疫情中，大多數企業甚至是個人，處於較被動的反應模式，針對疫情造成的影響偏向「走一步算一步」的應對態度。BCG 亞太區學習與發展經理 Ivy Wu 以多年顧問的經驗，整合自己對產業的觀察，分享在這個不確定的時期，我們可以如何重新定位公司與自己。
According to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group, most companies and individuals have taken the approach of a passive response mode for the COVID-19 pandemic, taking it ‘step by step’. Ivy Wu, Learning and Development Manager of BCG Asia Pacific, shares her observations and how we can reposition our companies and ourselves in this time of uncertainty.
健檢你的產業與公司 – 判斷潛在的優勢與機會，或可能的衰退與風險
想評估所處產業或企業，可以用「兩個維度」去做評斷。第一維度是以需求面與關聯性作為 x, y 軸，分析所處產業。x 軸代表著企業提供的產品或服務，是疫情間的剛性需求，還是彈性需求；y 軸則代表企業與疫情關聯性的高低。 例如民生食品、醫療器材等產業，就屬於剛性需求 + 關聯性高，即為疫情期間最重要的產業群。而娛樂、奢侈品等產業，則為彈性需求 + 關聯性低，會是被疫情衝擊較重的產業群。
Do a health check of your company and the industry that you are in – identify potential opportunities and advantages, or possible risks and further downsides. There are 2 dimensions from which you can run an analysis. The first dimension is a demand side analysis:
- Using the 2 axes x and y, the x axis represents the products or services provided by your company/ industry (is the demand for it flexible?)
- The y axis represents the level of the correlation between the company/ industry and the pandemic.
For example, necessities such as basic food and medical equipment are not flexible in demand (or demand inelastic, in economics speak), and high correlation with the pandemic, that is, the most important industry group during the pandemic. For industries such as entertainment and luxury goods, demand is flexible and of low correlation to the pandemic – these are the industry groups that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Although health foods and sports industries can be considered non-essentials with flexible demand, they are highly correlated with the pandemic, and have become industries that have unexpectedly benefited. Through these two axes, you can evaluate which quadrant your industry is in, and further conclude the position that you are in in terms of risks & opportunities.
第二維度則是可以從「公司面」探討，觀察公司在面對突發事件時，短、中、長期的應對策略是什麼。在短期措施中，公司有無用對方法止血、保護現金流，以及透過遠距辦公、分流上班等照顧員工健康。中期措施，是否開始縝密討論與籌備，應對疫情後的經濟生態。長期措施，可以觀察公司在面臨危機時，是否夠健全與夠有韌性(resilience)， 在結構性上有適當的調整與轉型。(延伸閱讀：在「疫情後社會」管理妳的事業 – 新竹豐邑喜來登實際案例 & 國際獵頭的建議方針)
The second dimension can be discussed from the “company side” – what are the company’s short, medium and long-term strategies for managing and responding to emergencies? Among the short-term measures, are there any ways for the company to reduce fixed costs, conserve cash flow, and take care of the health of employees through remote work?
Has the company started discussions on how to manage in the medium term on adjusting to this new normal and preparing for the changes that lie ahead as many countries are now slowly emerging from lock down? Long-term measures include structural adjustments and operational transformations to be resilient and prepared for future unknown crises.
透過這三個層面，去觀察公司正處在哪階段? 短期做了什麼措施? 有無在布局未來? 舉例來說，消費電子產業面對實體消費者的購買需求下降，但因遠距教學、辦公盛行，反而在另一產品線的需求提升。
此時便能觀察企業反應是否夠快速，將個人電子用品 (如:手機) 產線暫緩，快速拓展遠距電子產品線路，迅速組合新的產品portfolio，同時積極預測、評估未來疫情後的需求反彈，例如高階手機的需求，企業是否準備好大量生產與行銷?
Working through these 3 phases – short, medium and long term, you will have a sense of how your company is doing. For example, the consumer electronics industry has faced a decline in selling to consumers from brick & mortar stores. However, due to the increase in remote work and home schooling, demand of other products have increased.
In such an industry, has the company responded quickly enough, e.g. by shifting production from reduced demand for mobile phones to meeting increased demand for laptop computers. In the longer term, if remote work is here to stay, do companies need to upgrade their technology infrastructure to have larger cloud storage capacity, bandwidth and enhanced security? Strategy and planning ahead is the key to whether a company can win.
Emerging industries after the pandemic
We have witnessed the rise of the ‘stay-at-home’ economy in this pandemic. Digital transformation has also become necessary for many industries if they want to survive. The issue of “digitalization” has often been discussed, but not implemented either due to cost or manpower constraints. Now, because of the pandemic, digitalization has become one of the defining factors between surviving the pandemic or failing.
Retail is another sector that has taken a hit from the pandemic. However, some consumer brands have continued to do well, and the key is that these brands have had e-commerce presence for a while now and have been able to engage with their customers even without a physical store front in this time of lockdown and reduced social interaction.
As has been discussed for a while now, the digital economy is becoming more important and this realization by both employees and companies has never been more evident than today. Because the pandemic has not left us with many other options but to adopt digital solutions in order to continue with business, companies will have to incorporate digital transformation as part of their overall business and operational strategy.
而原先不懂數位的員工，也相對會有漸漸被淘汰的危機。被消失的工作類型大致可以歸類三個 R: Rule based, Routine, Repeatation– 只能跟著規則走、沒有變化與彈性，這種智慧機器人能夠輕易取代的職位，會是最危險的類別。以「人性面」、「創造力」去結合 AI 會是保護自己工作不被淘汰的方式，也能更彰顯自己的價值。
Employees who are unable to adapt and learn new skills relating to digital transformation will be at risk of being made redundant. The types of jobs that we can expect to be made obsolete can be classified into three Rs: Rule based, Routine, Repetitive i.e., jobs that have no change and flexibility, which effectively makes it a job that an intelligent robot can easily replace.
Combining AI with the human touch and creativity will be one way to protect your job from being made redundant, and having the irreplaceable human touch will also enhance your value as an employee. For example, although the secretary seems to be doing routine tasks such as scheduling appointments, he/ she can also use more “human” perspectives to get the job done, e.g. by taking into account the working style of the manager to plan a time efficient and productive day.
疫情後社會，整裝預備面對 the new normal
Get ready for the new normal
Reflect on your personal experience from this pandemic, and how you as an individual need to adapt to survive in this new normal. Whether it is more remote work, online learning or other trends, without the physical and social interaction it will definitely be more challenging to build relationships and mutual trust now compared to before. However, the most important takeaway is to adapt – and to learn how to learn.
Ivy 舉例自己於公司擔任的職位是學習與發展 (Learning & Development)，以前在工作坊中可以在現場看到人的反應，並當下做出相對應的調整。現在面對許多臨場的學習虛擬化，很難去連結參與的人。這時就需要快速學習，如何用更好的配置、軟體，以及更能發展線上互動的方式去連結參與的人。(延伸閱讀：有邏輯地掌握溝通的密度– BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP IVY WU)
My position at BCG is Learning & Development. Pre-pandemic, conducting in-person workshops provided an array of communication cues I could pick up on e.g. tone of voice, facial reactions and other body language.
With online workshops, it is more difficult to fully engage with the attendees. However, I am now exploring other ways of getting attendees to be more involved in online workshops, by making it more interactive, or assigning a role to each attendee before the session begins.
在面對 new normal 時，你必須可以很快地找到正確的資源，並且應用到組織中。而且大環境同時間依然馬不停蹄地在改變，如何維持好混合型的工作模式、 為自己的學習建立制度、學習如何學習並應用，才能發揮更大的效用，把事情辦得更好更有效率，凸顯自己的價值。
In the face of the new normal, you must quickly find the right resources and appropriately implement them for your organisation. We live in a constantly changing environment, being flexible in how you can effectively get your work done, learning how to learn, being able to adapt will be qualities to have that will stand you in good stead.