MXO June 2020 Summarised Extracts: COVID-19 as a catalyst for cultural and organisational transformation

MXO is a private peer group forum for leaders. The intention is to create an open forum for debate in which leaders from a range of sectors around the world have the opportunity to come together on a regular basis in a confidential environment and share, learn and grow together.

In June’s sessions, we focussed on the topic: What do we need to do now to deliver sustainable growth over the next five years. Through a series of workshops the conversations tackled the question and raised a broad array of themes. These included:

    • What to expect from the new environment
    • Leadership and unpredictability
    • COVID19 as a catalyst for cultural and organisational transformation
    • Digital Transformation and Sustainability
    • The importance of themes such as coopetition


In a series of shorts, we have highlighted critical outputs.


Given the market shock which Covid-19 precipitated, our peer-group examined the challenges and opportunities for cultural and organisational change in an environment where increased remote working has become a norm for many and where the areas of productivity in an organisation may have significantly changed.

    • The work environment has changed radically – we have witnessed a transformation that would normally take 5 years +, happen over three months. We have to build our cultures in an environment with less physical interaction and where remote working plays a much larger part. Transparency, visibility, and feedback loops are essential to enable this   
    • Culture will beat strategy every time  
    • Goodness flows amongst people so encourage it and tap into it 
    • Whilst not all companies experienced the challenge, for those who do, there is a need to address the 80:20 phenomenon: 80% of staff have seen a drop in workload or efficiency, whilst 20% have seen a significant increase in demands and also in their productivityIs the increased contribution of the 20% covering up the weaker contribution provided by the remaining 80%? Companies need to work out how to get the 80% highly productive again, quickly. 
    • We need to transform our environments to enable cultures where creativity and risk appetite is enabled to fuel innovation.  
    • We need to create environments where people are able to thrive in a less predictable environment  
    • We need to move our resource to where the value is 
    • How we educate and integrate new joiners will form a critical part of this process 
    • Reintegrating those who have been furloughed will play a huge part also and will test the culture as we push to regain productivity in a completely new environment.  
    • Companies need to become frugal in their approach, re-align all discretional spending and make sure that every dollar spent is contributing to the strategy of the organisation.  


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