Adapt and Overcome

Posted on 6th May 2020 by James Slaven

Picture of text cubes saying adapt
I started my career in Sales in 2005 and was with the company for 5 years, meaning I found myself working with them during an extremely challenging time when the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008.

As you can imagine things got tough, as they did for many companies at that time, and as a business we found ourselves having to strategically adapt and change direction as best we could in order to preserve the business.
It’s easier said than done, especially when every industry is affected in a different way. The stresses of trying to implement big changes in an unprecedented climate can be overwhelming at times and if you are not clear about the direction you are headed in, can make you feel like you are losing sight of the end goal. Let’s be honest, that in itself is challenging at the best of times!
Consequently, I’m interested now more than ever in finding out how businesses are moulding
processes and getting their teams on board as they adapt to our current global ‘crisis’.
Having recruited supply chain, logistics and procurement in retail for a few years now, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to my community and have had some great conversations with contacts in the fashion and cosmetics industries on the subject of change.
Here are some theme’s I have found to be the focus of adaptation for businesses in retail.


  • Adapting to WFH and creating different ways of working, meaning, for one thing, the upgrading of technology
  • Increased communication across the board to make sure people do not feel isolated from each other and the business
  • Implementing check-in systems to guarantee everybody is contacted once a day to address potential mental health issues
  • A focus on ergonomics at home to make sure people are still working in a safe and comfortable environment. There is a general increased sense of responsibility on physical and mental health
  • There is a need, now more than ever to drive digital and E-Commerce given that retail is so affected by Covid due to social distancing and the closure of many retail premises.
  • Upgrading websites, re-deploying retail staff members to Online Customer Service and restructuring business models to incorporate that.
  • Investing in new Customer Service Teams.
The general theme I’m finding is more people getting in touch with their human side, and if we come out of this simply understanding our peers better then I personally believe that will be a win!
It’s been a very strange couple of months, and it’s really encouraging to have these positive
conversations to see the way businesses are responding, as we ourselves as a recruitment business pivot away from the usual recruitment approach and invest more time in really understanding the businesses we partner with and adapting our own business model accordingly.
I plan to continue with this approach to gain insight into the different experiences in change
management various industries and functions within those industries are experiencing. I am keen to hear from any drivers of change about their personal perspective on this so please do reach out if you have something you would like to contribute to this conversation.