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The post pandemic organisation’s hierarchy of needs

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This is a long overdue follow-up to a piece I doodled and wrote about way back in 2016: The Modern Organisation’s Hierarchy of Needs.

For two main reasons its due an update. The clue to the first is in the original title. Anything that lays claim to being modern needs a revisit at least every 5 years.

The second is the more important one in that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on individuals and organisations since then and this requires the model to be revisited.

The pandemic has put pressure on organisations like never before and so it becomes even more important to hone your craft and perfect the way you actualise your business for continued survival. I would argue that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs continues to provide a sound basis for addressing the needs of an organisation (just as much as for an individual) and what to focus on for a healthy and successful business.

Some of the elements remain unchanged so I wont go into detail on those other than what you can read in the DanelDoodle – read the original post if you want to know more. Below is a little on what I think has changed in 5 or more years and since the pandemic hit us.

Business and Technology

These are much the same although I have updated the Technology layer to reflect a new set of technologies that I believe serve as the core foundation of any organisations technology stack. Three additional elements that I added to both layers and are worth calling out are:

Employee Experience

This is a completely new area that is gaining traction. I’m trend watching this space too so you can find out more about it in this page: Employee Customer Experience Connection.

You’ll notice from that page an explicit connection between the customer and employee experience. I haven’t called that out so much here because it is implicit in this model, i.e. you should go through progressive levels to reach the highest point.

Some would argue that employees are the first priority but I think that’s a false choice. You have to focus on both but I maintain as I did in the original model, that without due consideration to the success of a business in which customers are your most important stakeholder for its survival, you wont have one for employees to prosper in.

Creativity and Innovation

This is not different per se, I have just positioned it slightly differently in that creativity (of the individual and organisation as a whole) is now singularly the highest pinnacle of organisational actualisation.

Sitting outside of that is the most important outcome of an organisation that has successfully self actualised, innovation around products, services and experiences.

The emphasis is on outcomes which, as I have written about before (three recent posts below), is crucial in organisations, especially ones who have come under pressure as a result of the pandemic.

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