What matters most? Five priorities for CEOs in The Next Normal, McKinsey & Company, September 2021

How leaders can adapt to a very different future.

About the publication:

Over the course of the pandemic, businesses have largely—and often successfully—adapted to new ways of working. They’ve also embraced digitization and reorganized their supply chains. All of this has been necessary, but it will not be enough. To prepare for the post-COVID-19 era, leaders need to do more than fine-tune their day-to-day tasks; they need to be ready and willing to rethink how they operate and even why they exist. To put it another way, leaders need to step back, take a breath, and consider a broader perspective.

The pandemic has both revealed and accelerated a number of trends that will play a substantial role in shaping the future global economy. According to conversations with global executives, they have identified five priorities for the next normal. Companies will want to adopt these five priorities as their North Star while they navigate the trends that are molding the future.

Finally, leaders need to recognize that people want meaning in their lives and their work. Previous research has found that companies with a strong sense of purpose outperform those that lack one. And those who say they live their purpose at work are simply better employees—more loyal, more likely to go the extra mile, and less likely to leave. Purpose helps companies recognize emerging opportunities and connect with their customers. This, too, should be seen as a priority and a source of competitive advantage.

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