How To Transform The Business Challenges Created By The Covid-19 Crisis Into Opportunities.

Stock markets, politicians, business leaders and individuals worry over the short and long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economic activity and the best way to respond to this unprecedented challenge.

As mentioned in our article “Crisis Mitigation Management during COVID-19”, businesses must quickly protect employees and implement a mitigation plan to maintain some degree of business activity.

However, this is today’s or was yesterday’s approach, depending on where you are in the world. What is certain is that everyone must prepare for the Day After: companies will have to quickly ramp-up to previous performances but they will have to do so in a disrupted and more uncertain environment: Financial resources will be limited, Supply Chains and Operations will be disrupted, Competition will be fierce while Customers’ and Employees’ expectations will be greater.

We believe like former French President Sarkozy that “Crisis always is an opportunity, because it shatters conservatism”, encourages change and “gives an opportunity to some degree of risk”. The shape of the curve (V, U or L) defining the recovery path from this crisis will change the business options and imperatives. However, what remains certain is that the ability of business leaders and their organisations to transform those moments of uncertainty into opportunities will be fundamental to their short and long-term success.

We suggest considering the following principles while designing and executing your Strategic and Operating response:

1) Time & Planning:

Start planning now as business imperatives will demand immediate actions and the window for effective change implementation will be limited.

A 100-day plan should provide your firm with an effective and strategic way to quickly mobilise, drive change and accelerate transformation during the most demanding days and possibly encourage your teams to show the same intensity for the rest of the year.

Areas of priorities to first rebound & then improve your business performances following the COVID-19 crisis should consider the following Crisis Management Office framework.

2) Show the opportunity:

Define the core issue(s) for your organisation and reframe them to show the opportunity for your business and employees. We recommend companies to focus on business / customer needs and work hard to deliver the best value (price, quality, speed, reliability, expertise…). This will put more pressure on your competitors and ease your commercial approach.

3) Objectives & KPIs:

Now that the vision is in place, break it down into clear objectives, supported by smart KPIs. It supports the decision-making process and the execution of an effective Operating & Sales strategy.

4) Leadership & Effective management:

Leadership is paramount in moments of uncertainty and change.

  • Business leaders must reorganize their structure around people who will take ownership and accountability of the areas of improvements to deliver the results.
  • Do not forget that leaderships remain the key to success. It starts from the top and goes all the way down. The leadership should show the way and adopt a pro-active management style and an effective decision-making process.
  • Communication: quickly mobilise and implement regular communication initiatives repeating the objectives, presenting quick-wins and progress, highlighting new initiatives, individuals and teams making the difference.

5) Promote new ideas and a Risk Management culture:

Set up initiatives, encourage your people to think differently and reward them accordingly (i.e. create partnerships with competitors and / or suppliers; or drastically change the terms with your suppliers). Doing things differently generates innovation, efficiency and should ultimately make you stand out. Some organizations even go further: they promote risks and accept short term failure if the learning journey brings long term success. In any case measure your risks and strengthen your Risk Management capabilities.

6) Invest in Solutions and People talents:

Success will come from change, innovation and solutions. Make sure that you support and invest in the best solutions presented, develop the top talents and the potential offered by your people… recruit where needed.

To execute those principles, companies need a strong Crisis Management Office to transform their business challenges into opportunities. Thanks to our transformation and change management expertise, we at Magellan Consulting Group can help you design your COVID-19 crisis response but also implement and accelerate your initiatives to rebound & improve.