2 min read

Future state of business 2021 outlook

Originally published in Samsung Insights

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I questioned if I was making the right decisions for my employees or doing enough to help our business survive during such an uncertain time. I knew I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, so I called colleagues and friends to discuss what they were doing differently.

This sparked a series of conversations between me and industry leaders, in which they shared eye- opening stories about their organizations’ experiences during the pandemic. With the launch of the “Future State of Business” series in June 2020, we published these discussions so that others could benefit from the learnings.

This interactive eBook is a capstone to the first six months of my “Future State of Business” conversations. It features the critical data and insights I learned from these experts about what 2020’s unprecedented changes mean for the future of business, healthcare, education and leadership.

As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, I hope you find this eBook informative and that it inspires more creative solutions to the business and societal issues we’re facing.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve talked with many business leaders, and it has been a trying time for them and their frontline workers. They’ve had to react differently in each stage of the pandemic.

The first stage was “triage” mode. For some, this meant shutting down temporarily. Others had to move employees to work from home. For essential businesses related to the food supply and healthcare, the show had to go on, which meant putting workers’ health on the line and rethinking how they served their customers. Some moved operations outside where the risks were lower. Others met customers at their cars or delivered goods to homes versus coming into stores. Nonessential businesses also had to rethink their approach and looked to e-commerce and radically different logistical models. 

No matter the business, much of the rethinking leveraged technology and forced digital transformation at an accelerated pace. And months after the pandemic began, the need to rethink and pivot hasn’t stopped.

The lasting impact of this is the need for flexibility and agility. While these terms are overused in technology marketing, the leaders I’ve talked to have learned that both flexibility and agility will be essential to how they conduct business moving forward. They want to be ready the next time something out of left field hits them and their employees.  

But the need for flexibility and agility aren’t the only lessons learned from the pandemic. To successfully move forward, business leaders need to understand the breadth of challenges that have emerged during this difficult time. 

Most importantly, leaders need to work together and learn from each other because none of us can solve these problems alone. It’s why I’m pleased to see many voices and perspectives reflected in the following chapters. Through conversation and collaboration, we can find ways to build a better future state together. 

Unlock the Interactive eBook here to read more