q What will be the biggest opportunity to emerge from Covid-19? - Business Reporter

Sunil Prashara

President and chief executive officer

Project Management Institute 

The pandemic has taught us that disruptive change will only continue to increase in the years ahead. In response, organisations are restructuring, turning to more flexible models and structuring work around projects designed to achieve specific outcomes. In short, leaders must build cultures that enable the emergence of gymnastic organisations, which can embrace change and seize new opportunities. At Project Management Institute, we recognise that transformative times call for bold strategies, and organisations can truly hit the accelerator when their employees become change makers. They develop critical power skills to lead, master ways of working to make things happen fast, and possess the business acumen to see the big picture.

As the world rebuilds from Covid-19, gymnastic organisations will need creativity, collaboration, determination and change makers to deliver on outcomes. And those organisations that exhibit a gymnastic mindset will be positioned to succeed in the post-pandemic world.



Anders la Cour

Co-founder and chief executive officer

Banking Circle

Without doubt, the unique combina­tion of accelerated digitalisation and an increasing focus on collaboration. Our latest research showed that banks and PSPs are rethinking the value of digital infrastructure in futureproofing their institu­tions. While respondents confirmed they had digitalisation plans in place prior to Covid-19, most have fast-tracked these.

The pandemic is providing clear evidence in favour of working digitally, but it has also demonstrated the value of human interaction. Post-pandemic, we expect – and hope – to emerge into a world which places greater importance upon human touch, solidarity and empathy, where we work together rather than competing against each other at every turn.

Understanding how and where human interaction fits into a digital model and determining which services should be digitised will be critical in the future. Financial institutions of all types must take time to learn from the past to better under­stand the future and determine longer-term thinking around the infrastructure that enables success.



Debbie Dore 

Chief executive 

Association for Project Management 

Whether it’s tackling the Coronavirus or enabling a return to normality in certain areas of life, the essential nature of projects during this pandemic highlights a great opportunity for businesses to profession­alise project management in order to support adaptive change. Businesses need to empower project professionals to do things differently. So much has been achieved in the past six months around new ways of working, enabling flexibility and improving productivity. This must be allowed to continue, rather than reverting back to familiar habits. They also need to recognise what is possible. Initiatives such as the furlough scheme and the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals show what well-managed projects can do.

Finally, they must understand the importance of the project professional. Dedicated practitioners will achieve the right balance between speed of completion and proper process, ensuring the end results are fit for purpose. Recruiting, developing and retaining full-time project professionals is the way forward for organisations.



Jeff Fochtman 

Senior VP of marketing and business

Seagate Technology 

Digital technology and the IT sector have played a pivotal role in ensuring business continuity during the pandemic. As companies look ahead to what their “new normal” looks like, there are real opportunities to use IT, and specifically data technologies, to help push businesses through recovery and into growth.

According to Rethink Data, a recent IDC survey commissioned by Seagate, some 68 per cent of data available to enterprises ends up not being used. Covid-19 is an opportunity for businesses to put this into perspective, and realise that the data they have stored about their business could make all the difference. 



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