Strategic resilience in times of crisis
by Philipp Schett
These are un-precented times – the situation we are confronted with is beyond the magnitude of just a health crisis, it is something which is impacting the social and economic fabric of individuals, families, businesses, government and society at large. While the health crisis will undoubtedly pass, the position that your organization will be in during, immediately post, and in the long term, is determined by the actions that you take now. We have been talking to several leaders about their strategies, hypotheses and anticipated scenarios, as well as the actions that they are taking to set themselves up to weather the shock and prosper in the post pandemic environment. We present a summary of them below:
- Back to basics – Focus on determining the key areas of the business that should be kept running either because they are revenue/cash flow generators (even better if they are profitable), essential services to these areas or areas that can be easily and quickly pivoted to be digitally delivered/enabled.
- Agile planning – Develop the 45 day (not 90 day) plan which is hyper-focused on the key strategic priorities which are important to nail to keep the life blood of the business still flowing. We normally see that this plan balances “response and run”, rather than “run and grow”. Document this in OKR format, along with one crisis OKR. Try to keep the non-crisis specific OKRs stable to enable execution while the crisis one can be quite dynamic as the situation evolves.
- Communicate clearly and with compassion – Outline the current state of the business and its core priorities going forward for the next 45 day period. Over communicate on these. For compassion, take a leaf from the CEO of Marriott.
- Digitally engage the team – You are a digital leader, ready or not. Use video and audio formats as much as possible to reinforce the human aspect e.g. a daily video message or ‘all hands’ video conference. Here are some quality Work From Home Tips and on how to Lead from Home.
- Plan for the new normal – Predictions will be continuously adjusting and the plan will need to be fluid. Stay up to date with the latest forecasts and stress test a number of new normal scenarios. In particular focus are businesses which rely on physical go to market channels e.g. retail. Here is some of the market commentary on the bounce back and longer-term trends. We currently estimate that you should start switching to recovery and reform OKRs post the run out of your initial 45 day plan.
- Execute the return to new normal plan – the crisis will pass and it is important that you bring your business back to life, with some adjustments. Keep your eye on China and other markets depending on where they are in their crisis levels to get a sense of recovery prospects for your market.
- Invest in digital – Whether it is developing new digital products, digitally enabling existing products, building out all your digital channel/go to market strategy or digitally enabling the internal operations of your business, all of these are adjustments that you need to build out into your new normal. Consumer preferences and habits will be changed and rebuilt during this time so take advantage of the opportunity that this presents post-crisis.
While the pandemic will pass, human preferences and attitudes towards digital will have changed, permanently. Take care of basics now to weather the storm, but keep in mind that the new norm will be increasingly digital. For now, we at Detecon wish you, your teams and your families all the best during this time and we will be in touch with our latest insights as the situation evolves.
Stay Happy and Healthy (remotely)
The original article was published on 16.03.2020 by Linkedin