A panel of economists and business strategists converged for a discussion on the revolutionary changes that have evolved in business strategy over the past few years. Some reasoned that nothing had fundamentally changed, others that everything changed and still others that strategies must change.

Despite their different assessments, the attendees agreed on one thing: the pandemic was disruptive. How that disruption was handled, or how it could be handled in the future, is cause for debate.

Spurring Agility Across Industries

The panelists who determined that business strategies changed after 2020 pointed to the ability for some companies and organizations to withstand the impact of supply chain disruption. They argued that some organizations were better equipped to handle abrupt changes and to adapt.

Based on this reasoning, they believe that new business strategies are emerging. Those strategies lean heavily on agile techniques, flexibility, collaboration, and harnessing the power of technology. Though these strategies existed prior to 2020, they have emerged at the forefront of modern business.

Business Strategy Did Not Change At All

Though some of the changes may be permanent, several business analysts assert that business strategies themselves have and will remain unchanged.

In their view, businesses will continue to pursue the fundamental strategy of earning a profit from goods and services. In other words, the profit-driven model that guides all business strategies remains intact. Adaptability and contingency plans have always been essential to good business strategy and the pandemic did not change that fundamental fact.

One other vocal economist noted that the pandemic could have caused businesses to think about their social responsibilities toward employees, consumers, and the environment. In this sense, she also did not think the pandemic changed profit-driven strategies.

Features of the Environment

Another economist noted that changes in production methods and geographies are “features of the environment” and that businesses will adapt, albeit at a faster rate than would be typical in a non-crisis environment.

As one attendee noted, experimentation is still occurring within various industries. The results of those experimental strategies might prove to be the revolutionary changes needed to ensure a robust economy despite a crisis.