2021: Forecasting and Planning a Foundational Year

January 29, 2021

TRANSFORMING
WORK

WITH
SOPHIE WADE

2021: Forecasting and Planning a Foundational Year

2021: Forecasting and Planning a Foundational Year

In this episode, Rob Tercek—author of Vaporized: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World—discusses the reality of where we are, how to forecast appropriately, and plan strategically for 2021—understanding the opportunities and challenges. Rob poses questions to consider, identifies trends and advantages we can capture, as well as alerting us to dematerialization’s impact and how to work with it rather than be disrupted by it.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[02:56] Humans are used to adapting for short crises which made 2020 endless and hard.

[03:55] Business decisions were paralyzed as many people were unable to decide how to move forward in 2020.

[04:27] There is light at the end of the tunnel in 2021 with the vaccine rolling out.

[05:02] The vaccine doesn’t mean ‘normality’, but we can start to plan to go back to the office.

[06:10] COVID19 has just accelerated the process the internet began.

[06:53] Companies are not going to abandon the investment they made in work-from-home infrastructure leading to two kinds of workforce—distributed and onsite.

[07:56] Executives secret desires to go back to the office and concerns about remote working.

[08:46] Questions to consider as leaders assess strategic options about how to configure their workplaces for 2022.

[10:04] Companies may use a faulty forecasting process when planning for beyond crisis mode.

[10:57] Organizations can mistakenly think they are the only ones dealing with these circumstances.

[11:41] What is the impact of the broad shift in consumer behavior—changed habits and products they are no longer buying?

[12:35] Invest for the future will not be to rebuild the company as it was in 2018 and 2019.

[13:47] For B2B businesses, user and developer conferences are turning into tutorials for users—creating new habits and switching costs.

[14:57] How to use data to counter some of the loss in face-to-face meetings for sales people.

[16:47] Putting the IT department and CIO at forefront of rebuilding for the future.

[18:02] The importance of HR gathering and tracking data for C-suite discussions.

[18:46] The balance of responsibility between employer and employee to maintain skillsets.

[22:37] Rob describes how to create an actionable forecast.

[23:42] The only way you can tell if a prediction is accurate is after it’s happened.

[24:40] Why confidence intervals and probabilities matter.

[27:18] How to adjust for different geographic restrictions and vaccine rollout to develop a rough hypothesis and timeline.

[31:39] For companies to be laying a foundation in 2021 for 2022 and beyond.
Robert thinks we will have two quarters this year that will not be great.

[32:19] Plan to deploy new digital infrastructure for 2022, since it usually takes 12-18 months.

[34:07] Robert describes the significant impact of COVID19 on digital healthcare.

[35:59] What smart companies are doing differently now to gain market share.

[37:00] Critical focus needs to be on the customer journey, which may be different now.

[38:15] We have to have more self-awareness, especially about our emotional state

[39:27] The impact of digital media immersion which can act as an outrage-generator.

[40:56] Disruption is scary. It’s hard. Cutting people some slack is being empathetic.

[42:49] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: What parts of your work and life can—and will—be replaced by software or ‘dematerialized’? Consider carefully taking action or leave the opportunity for someone else!

QUOTES

“There is a feeling, it’s a depressing thought, that 2021 seems like it’s going to be a continuation of 2020, and everyone knows 2020 was a terrible year on many levels.”

“Based on the current deployment of the vaccine, it seems unlikely we’re going to be through this COVID-19 until the latter half of 2021 and it could be as late as 2022. To set expectations.”

“You can’t turn back the hands of time. Many big organizations reallocated massive budgets to create a structure to work from home. That investment isn’t going to go away.”

“We lost two channels of information: Face-to-face meetings and conferences, but what we’ve gained is a different channel of feedback which is real-time usage data.”

“Everyone knows that we live in a changing world. Everyone knows that sudden dislocation seems to be the theme of this century.”

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