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Lessons Learned from the Pandemic


We are launching a 2040 weekly thought leadership connection to keep you updated on ideas, innovations, industry trends and emerging best practices on leadership, workplace culture, organizational and operational transformation.

For business leaders, the pandemic has propelled many levels of professional and personal reflection. On a professional level, we’ve heard ad nauseum about how Covid revealed inherent organizational vulnerabilities, accelerated emerging technologies, caused a shift in consumer behavior and powered business pivots and new operating models. On a personal level, the pandemic changed many of our lives in indelible ways.  On both fronts, we have been reminded that we are optimistic and resilient as problem solvers and our ability to work around and work through the challenges at hand.

When we at 2040 work with clients, our post-pandemic imperative is to help them recognize what business practices they need to leave behind that are no longer relevant.

We also help them use pragmatism in leveraging the changes they have had to make to build out businesses that can thrive in a digital marketplace.

That said, here are our top seven lessons learned over the past 14 months based on our work with organizations under siege. These are big-picture macro shifts and 20Forty has the experience and expertise to bridge theory to practice in helping businesses achieve the next level of leadership, organizational and operational transformation.


  1. Be Prepared and Be Flexible

Agility is a critical guiding business principle; you can’t afford to run a business the same way you have always operated. Be open to change triggered both internally and externally. Anticipate the future, don’t catch up to it.

  1. Redefine Your Relevance

Take stock. Reexamine your purpose and mission to all your stakeholders. How has your industry changed and how do you best respond to these changes? Your brand isn’t what you say about yourself, it’s what your customers say about you. Your stakeholders are in the driver’s seat; listen to them and follow their lead.

  1. Upgrade Your Services

Innovate how you deliver your products and services. Move forward and get unstuck from business as usual. Simple example with big implications: Zoom/Teams calls are here to stay for both customers and your workforce. Pay attention to your customers and deliver your products and services when, where and how they want them delivered.

  1. Change Your Mindset

Organizational drag and resistance to change is a mindset you can’t afford to have. Not to sound all new-agey, if leadership doesn’t think transformation is possible, it’s not going to happen. And that change comes from all corners of the organization; ensure that your business includes individuals who think differently and have the courage to challenge the status quo.

  1. Reframe Your Culture

The perfect storm of the pandemic, civil unrest and an economic reset has revealed the cracks in our workforce culture. The next-gen workforce is forcing a hard look at dormant issues, including running a purpose-based organization, supporting Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) taking a stand on sustainability and creating a more supportive work community. At last, but not least, remote work is now table stakes for employees of all ages.

  1. Rethink Your Organization

We live in a world that is interconnected, yet we organize our businesses into siloed models. It is impossible to run a high-performance organization today if it is not organized in a holistic, systems-based network.  Your workforce cannot operate effectively in a vacuum; the most innovative solutions come from collaboration, not a command-and-control hierarchy.

  1. Digital Transformation

We live and work in a digital marketplace. End of subject. If your business is not operating with the best possible digital tools, work processes and systems, you are already lagging behind your competition. We’re beyond digital transformation; we’re in the era of digital mastery.

Get in touch with us!

2040 helps organizations navigate the sea changes of finding their new normal. We offer actionable expertise in the strategy and operations of digital growth and engagement, empowering an empathetic workplace culture, strengthening your value proposition and driving revenues.  We’ve been in your shoes and we know what impedes transformation … and what unlocks it.

Onward and upward from the 2040 Team

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