The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to an economic crisis that has many people buzzing about the risk of another global financial recession. However, today’s situation is far different from the 2008 financial crisis, especially since banks aren’t in the spotlight.
Thanks to digital technology, they now offer a host of innovative products and services, such as mobile banking and contactless payments, which have proven critical during the pandemic.
The European Merchant Bank is one of those leading the finance sector’s digital transformation through open banking practices. It empowers digital banking through single API integration, helping businesses grow even in uncertain times.
Dr. Ozan Ozerk, the European Merchant Bank founder, has shared some useful advice on leading through this uncertainty. Here’s what he had to say about navigating the COVID-19 crisis better.
1. Clarify Your Company’s Purpose
When businesses find themselves in a crisis, they often focus on their KPIs (key performance indicators) and other factors to improve their bottom line. The European Merchant Bank suggests taking another approach. It’s to take a step back and get a clear view of your company’s purpose.
Companies need to put their guiding principles in the spotlight. Clarify them, redefine if necessary, and emphasize them to guide your team, clients, and other stakeholders on the right path to success.
2. Support Your Employees, Customers, and Other Stakeholders
During this unprecedented time, leaders need to support all their stakeholders, from employees, partners, and investors to suppliers and end consumers.
What does that mean? It means identifying their needs and finding ways to meet them effectively. It means making short-term and long-term decisions for improving their well-being, morale, and confidence while keeping your operations running smoothly.
The European Merchant Bank highlights the importance of understanding that each stakeholder’s needs are different. The European Merchant Bank also advises companies to support employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
3. Reinforce Your Company’s Resilience
According to the European Merchant Bank, strengthening your company’s resilience is perhaps the most essential step you need to take as a leader during COVID-19 or any other crisis. That means reinforcing both organizational and psychological stability.
You need to empower your team by communicating with them openly and showing that you’re in this together. You may not have all the answers right now, but your teammates still need to hear from you.
The European Merchant Bank also reminds leaders to prioritize their own resilience. Even the best-laid plans may not deliver fast results, so you need to find a work-life balance. Find time to recharge your batteries and gain a new perspective on things. It’ll help you stay flexible and make the right decisions.
4. Embrace Uncertainty
Sometimes, taking the bull by the horns is the best course of action. The European Merchant Bank recommends embracing uncertainty rather than building strategies around it. No one knows how long the pandemic will last and what all its repercussions will be. The sooner you embrace the new normal, the higher your chances of weathering the storm might be.
The key is to identify all the uncertainties within your industry and organization. Create different scenarios, incorporate them into your strategic decision-making, and assess all the possible implications of various decisions.
Once you make your choices, monitor them closely, and make necessary adjustments as you go, advises the European Merchant Bank.
5. Reimagine your Approach to Leadership in the Smart Way
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s nothing is certain. So, instead of resisting change, you should embrace uncertainty and reimagine your approach to leadership. This is the only way to maintain a healthy workflow during a crisis.
The European Merchant Bank says that smart leadership can identify and mitigate potential risks, predict market changes and consumer expectations, and uncover future growth opportunities.
True leaders are forged in a crisis. So, don’t let this or other crises go to waste. Take the challenges they bring and turn them into opportunities.