May 8, 2020

Rise to the Challenge takeaways: Data-driven pivots & ruthless prioritization

Post by: Mario Ciabarra

Being a leader will always have challenges in its own right. But being a leader during a pandemic is not just hard… It can be scary and lonely. You want to make sure you are providing your teams what they need to keep pushing forward but also giving them enough care and space to recharge. It is a tough balance to manage.

But I knew I was not alone in this mindset and wanted to seek the counsel from my fellow leaders in the Data, Digital, IT and Product community. So, Quantum Metric started a small series of roundtables featuring executive guests to provide their perspective on the current state of the professional world. A couple weeks ago, we kicked off our first roundtable with a discussion on the theme of “data-driven pivots & ruthless prioritization.”

Here are some of the takeaways:

COVID-19 Impact – “We are in the future!” 

Digital adoption has skyrocketed in only a three week period, which has essentially leapfrogged us into the future when it comes to behavioral adoption of internet channels. This is the new normal for consumers. The curve has shifted so profoundly forward that once the crisis passes, organizations do not have the luxury of taking the next five to ten years to slowly gain adoption. As a result, businesses cannot lose the momentum they were forced into now and will need to resist getting complacent with that notion that things will “go back to normal.”

Winners vs Losers – Prioritization & Agility

In thinking about how this time will distinguish the businesses that will survive from those that will not, there are two factors to consider. The first is prioritization. Organizations should be asking themselves, “what are the three or four things we can do right now to increase revenue, conversion, and our margin?” As pilots of the business, you cannot fly blind. You need to be able to use real-time data to ruthlessly prioritize and tackle decision making or you will be buried in the indecision. As such, companies need to be instrumented to get that data, disseminate it, and take action.

The second factor is agility. When you think about it, we were disrupting over 15 years, and now we are disrupting over three months. This crisis has forced businesses to make digital decisions now that they originally were pushing off in their roadmap. If you don’t make the decisions to adapt, someone else will.

Invest in Recovery Now

Along with the decisions you make for the present, you have to start thinking about the future–no matter how far off that might seem. As one attendee noted, every penny you invest now will have to last beyond the contingency of COVID, and into the next phase. To build resilience, companies have to be predictive and proactive.

Stay tuned for more leadership takeaways from our executive roundtable series! Curious about how our clients use data to drive pivots? Check-out our eBook on Continuous Product Design, a customer-defined approach that helps you build better products faster.