It’d Be a Mega-Mistake Not to Consider the Pandemic’s Megatrends

We’re All Tired, But Don’t Skip This!

We get it! We’re all fatigued with Zoom meetings, virtual happy hours, working until all hours of the night. It’s easy to just close the curtains and roll into tomorrow.

But the world has shifted in almost every way. Not considering the resulting megatrends would be a mega-mistake. If your strategic plan doesn’t consider megatrends brought on by the pandemic, we recommend revisiting your plan to adjust for your organization’s sustainability and success.

Recap: What are Megatrends?

Megatrends are macroeconomic and geopolitical forces that shape our global economy and political environment. They are the world’s biggest challenges, shifts, and opportunities that actually have very broad and deep impact.

Completing an analysis of the megatrends in your competitive, customer, and supply chain environments provides a bird’s-eye-view of what opportunities are present (that weren’t a year ago) or what threats need to be mitigated that weren’t on your radar at the beginning of 2020.

One helpful tool to use to identify megatrends is a PESTLE analysis, which is essentially a deeper dive into the external analysis portion of a SWOT.

Identify megatrends from the last year in these categories:

  • Political Forces – The forces brought on by the government. Examples include the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program, the unemployment benefits programs, and the other forms of government assistance, and policies (even if they are temporary).
  • Economic Forces – External economic forces impacting the economy. Examples include rising inflation rates, changes and shifts in consumer spending, and changes in the supply and demand curves.
  • Sociological Forces – Changes in the greater social environment such as social justice movements and the impacts of social distancing. 
  • Technological Forces – Changes in technology that are forcing innovation. Examples we’ve seen include the emergence of work-from-home technology, the demand for telehealth services, and the meteoric rise of crypto currency infrastructure (e.g., Coinbase).
  • Legal Forces – Laws and regulations that impact your organization, including local regulations on social gatherings and masks, regulations on work environments and personal protective equipment, and government limitations on travel. Depending on your business, local, state and federal laws and regulations are worth scrutinizing.
  • Environmental Forces – Forces that are impacted by weather, geography, climate change, and health crises. In addition to the public health crisis caused by the pandemic, the world was also impacted by wildfires across the globe. What are the near-term and long-term impacts of these accelerating changes, e.g., rising ocean levels, drier and warmer seasons, etc.?

Why Does This Matter Right Now?

There are almost never changes in the global economy, workforce, or environment that touch every industry, business, and non-profit simultaneously. The Pandemic is a global, broad-reaching event unlike any other, and there will be winners and, unfortunately, losers.

Bottom line: capitalizing on or mitigating these megatrends could be the difference between your organization thriving or surviving. We’ve all been dealt a bad hand that’s largely out of our control. Now it’s about really looking at those cards and making the most out of the play.

What’s also inherently unique about this moment is megatrends are really easy to spot. Most often, these trends aren’t obvious without deep market analysis and intuition. Because they’re so slow-moving or in isolated pockets, we can’t always readily see them; but not this go-round.

You’d have to be living in a cave without internet, your mobile phone or any people to miss the megatrends we’ve all seen in the past 13 months. The pandemic has made these shifts as clear as day, which means you have no excuse to not consider and act on them!

Examples of Megatrends In-Play

It only took us about 10 minutes to brainstorm a few of the megatrends impacting some of our clients and their industries.

A few examples of megatrends:

  • An unprecedented increase in cost of raw materials. The pandemic has caused delays, production issues, and logistics headaches for raw material providers. It’s doubled, tripled, or quadrupled raw material costs in some instances.  
  • The housing squeeze. Historically low interest rates and a shift to working from home has pushed the real estate market into a surge. Home prices have risen 10-15% in the last year alone.
  • Keeping a team accountable without an office. Many teams are still working from home. How do you manage a remote workforce, maintain productivity, and keep your corporate culture intact? PS – We have an application that helps!
  • Want a new car or appliance? They’re hard to find! Geo-politics, COVID-19, and supply/demand changes have resulted in a shortage in semi-conductors, squeezing production of electronics in cars, appliances, and other electronics globally.

Don’t Fret if You Already Have a Plan!

If you already have a plan, we aren’t recommending throwing it away just because you didn’t look at megatrends during planning.

What you do need to do is conduct your own PESTLE, then work through your goals and initiatives and note how/whether each improves your position against what’s happening in your market. Besides, it’s Q2, and you should be updating your OKRs or goals and initiatives now for the next 3 to 6 months.

Here’s what that might look like:

  • Example Goal 1: Control our raw material costs by negotiating bulk pricing and prepayment terms. (megatrend to mitigate: Increasing material costs.)
  • Example Goal 2: Keep our team accountable and engaged with our vision and culture by adopting an OKR software and review process. (megatrend to mitigate: Disengaged employees working from home.) 
  • Example Goal 3: Diversify revenue to expand production capacity. (megatrend to capitalize on: PPP loans and Federal assistant programs.)

Up Next: A Guide to Identify and Act on Your Megatrends

In our next newsletter, we’ll guide you through identifying your industry megatrends and how you can act on them. Don’t worry, we’ll provide recommendations to incorporate them deeper into your existing plan, too!

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