Several months into a global pandemic, leading organizations are redefining expectations of what is possible. Consider how offices around the world shifted virtually overnight to digitally enabled remote work. Grocery retailers and restaurants rolled out new pickup and delivery services. Hospitals rapidly expanded telehealth options. Automakers, apparel makers, and mobile phone assemblers retooled on the fly and are now rushing out personal protective equipment and ventilators.
All of these scenes offer a glimpse at a new age of acceleration taking shape, in which leading companies are racing ahead to redesign strategies and operations in weeks instead of years. Many of these breakthroughs have been on chief executives’ to-do lists; now, they are being fast-tracked. A defining feature of the much-discussed new normal in business is speed: Decisions are being made at a pace previously thought impossible.