Organizations will have people working at home, at the office, rotating between the two; subcontractors; consultants. How do you lead and manage this kind of asymmetrical organization?
• The sales power shift
It will be less about selling to prospects and more about enabling the buyer to buy. People are inured to ordering and configuring online, receiving delivery the next day. Consumers are no longer dependent on a company, through its sales force, dispensing information.
•Legitimizing customer service lines
No one is willing to listen to “Because of unexpected high call volume….” or “Your call is very important to us….” or “Listen to the entire menu because our options have changed.” People expect to talk to a human being promptly. (However, online chat mechanisms seem to also work very well if they’re human and not bots.”)
• High tech/high touch shift
Naisbitt was right in the 80s, but the proportions are changing. High tech can assume much more of a role if it’s personalized and high touch isn’t as required as before. We don’t really need a live cashier to leave a store or enter a movie.
• Personalized support services
Best Buy was far better an experience with workers meeting people outside the store and retrieving what they need than they ever were with people roaming the aisles vainly seeking sales help. We need to expand that dynamic.
• Concierge services
Just as we’ve seen “concierge doctors” (special privileges and access for special fees, non-insurance-reimbursable), we’ll see concierge auto service, retail shopping, accounting, and so forth. (Are you organizing concierge consulting or coaching approaches?)
• Remote trusted advising
Key leaders are seeking “backstage,” unseen expert advice as they wend their way through the ambiguity. And they’ll prefer this on a basis of wide latitude, perhaps in the evening, perhaps on weekends, despite time zones. (See “concierge services” above.)
• Meeting Extinction
The near-total waste of time of physical meetings has become blazingly apparent. Zoom has provided billions of dollars of savings in not having to transport, house, and feed people during ponderous meetings. What will be the next iteration of this kind of technology? (I’m betting it’s two-way livestreaming.)
• The remote keynote
Speakers had better learn how to deal with an audience watching over Zoom or Livestream services, and change their performance accordingly. There’s no stage to roam, no audience to wade into, and slides become burdensome and boring. Whether a company executive or an outside expert, how does one communicate what’s required in a speech or talk with enthusiasm and efficacy? (And maybe it’s time to abandon that speech that ten years old, and stop crying and laughing on cue.)