The global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was unexpected at a time when focus was on a multitude of other mega-trends and disruptors. The experience has highlighted both the necessity and the opportunity to explore new operating models and ways of working. It has been the catalyst for change that has often been talked about yet not truly embraced. Asia is currently leading the way in exploring this New Reality.

We have identified four phases that organisations will move through as they respond to COVID-19: Reaction, Resilience, Recovery and New Reality.

Organisations need to consider the impact of each phase on their operating models, the composition and shape of their workforce, their approach to talent management and development, the design of employee experience journeys, and the skills and leadership required to navigate their way through Reaction, Resilience, Recovery and ultimately towards the New Reality. The speed of response is unique to each organisation and may not be a linear process with teams and individuals potentially returning to an earlier phase as they adjust.

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