By Diane Adams

The use of social media and a digital strategy has never been more critical to businesses than it is today during this Covid crisis. Having a digital strategy ensures that we can continue to communicate with our customers, our employees, our suppliers and our stakeholders. While digital strategies may have been a ‘nice to have’ pre-Covid, it has become a ‘need to have’ since the Covid crisis hit.

Small to mid size companies that understand how to use social media, and have tools in place, are better prepared to provide products and services to customers and to communicate with their employees. They are also better prepared to mitigate risks from disruption. This is the time for companies to explore the resources they will need to ensure they have a robust digital plan as we emerge from this crisis. Many small and mid size companies find this is the best time to assemble a Board of Advisors with a diverse skill set to help guide them through the crisis and to navigate the new and changing world ahead of them.

Individuals with experience in “Digital Technologies” will be particularly critical for many small and mid size companies across all industries. Digital technology is a very broad field and includes cyber security, block chain, artificial intelligence, virtual assistants, social media and more. Having a clear understanding of what these technologies are, how they are used, and how they can help to achieve company results is imperative for Leaders today. These digital tools can help to reduce cost, increase efficiencies, accelerate growth, improve communication and ultimately impact the way we work.

In addition, many Private Equity firms are not resourced internally to support the operational needs of small-mid market companies, and this gap is creating the need to enlist independent Board members and Advisors to work more closely with their portfolio companies. Progressive PE firms are bringing on more diverse Board members with a broader skill set and they are finding that they are able to significantly improve and accelerate their ROI. Chief Talent Officers bring insights into the changing workforce and bridging the baby boomer/millennial divide and transforming organizational structure. Chief Marketing Officers have a clear understanding of voice of customer, which is fundamental to guiding a growth strategy. The voice of customer is the foundation for developing the channel strategy, digital platforms and innovation pipeline.

Companies with a strong Advisory team are better prepared to navigate this crisis and build a strong foundation for a sustainable long term future.

Diane Adams is an Advisor with ELAB and an Independent Board Director. She is a Leadership Fellow with NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors) and professional speaker on digital transformation.