C-Suite Intelligence 8th July 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service provides news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions address the exceptional challenges they are facing.

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What COVID-19 is revealing about your customers and employees
Strategy + Business
COVID-19 is giving businesses the chance to learn more about their customers, the strengths and weaknesses of their processes and operations, their competition, and their employees. What businesses do with this knowledge can help them navigate a new path forward. 
  1. You can learn more about your customers as people. Such knowledge can lead to new opportunities. For instance, just as there may have been customers you have left stranded because of gaps in your ability to execute, you may have also encountered people left stranded by your competitors. Find out why these people have come to you.
  2. Building confidence will be key to maintaining your customer relationships. If you’ve been listening carefully, you’ve gained new insights about what matters most to your customers. How are you, your team, and your offerings meeting (or not meeting) their new needs?
  3. You can see which of your sales and marketing channels are narrow, shallow, or barely navigable. An omnichannel design supposedly allows customers to shift easily from physical to virtual, from analogue to digital. With increased reliance on the former versus the latter, you now know exactly how well your setup works, and which parts need additional attention.
  4. As you improvise, you should embrace new business models, regardless of whether they’re born of necessity or accident. The coronavirus is also exposing gaps in business ecosystems. For decades, supply chains were managed to minimise cost, not to ensure resilience. That will change, both upstream and downstream.
  5. Capture what you have learned. First, ensure that the conversations you are having with customers and with frontline employees are not just about selling, but are also about listening. Second, make sure you have learning loops, feedback, feed-forward, and design knowledge capture into remote-work protocols. 

Safeguarding against cyberattack in an increasingly digital world
McKinsey Digital
Until recently, financial firms were the primary targets for cyberattack. Today, due to digitisation and automation, the threat is universal. Added to this, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the danger across all industries.

Changes in working conditions have made it harder for companies to maintain security. Large-scale adoption of work-from-home technologies, heightened activity on customer-facing networks, and greater use of online services all present fresh openings, which cyber-attackers have been quick to exploit.
This article summarises key actions businesses can take to safeguard their organisations from the growing risks.
Interview with Deloitte’s Global CIO
In this interview, Larry Quinlan, Deloitte’s global CIO, discusses how IT and business-unit technologists can work together to support market agility and scale new tools and service offerings more quickly and efficiently.

Many global IT organisations are increasingly recognising value in working directly with business units to bring innovative technology assets and IT service offerings to life. In doing so, leaders can establish an IT operating framework with common standards and processes, and accomplish effective collaboration between development teams.
Virtual B2B selling is here to stay
Bain & Company
A recent survey by Bain & Company in the US suggests that the COVID-19 induced shift toward digital tools and interaction channels will have a permanent and far reaching impact on the future of B2B selling.

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