For all of us, what needs to be at the top of mind right now is to launch a plan to get ahead of the economic fallout that is coming once the dust settles from this COVID-19 pandemic. This virus is spreading at an extraordinary speed. The very concept of crisis management is now being redefined as we speak.
The next wave of disruption that is heading our way would not just be an economic shock from COVID-19, it’s also a shock to customer behaviours and business models too. Businesses will need to adopt an operating model that accommodates the extreme level of uncertainty that faces a business today. According to McKinsey & Company, there are two practical sets that one can take to help stay ahead.
The plan-ahead team will help elevate your view above the day-to-day response that your crisis team is managing. Its objective is to enable modular, scalable thinking that any CEO needs to navigate this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation. The plan-ahead team will deliver a STRATEGIC CRISIS-ACTION PLAN to guide and accelerate your decision making.
In times of war, military organizations often establish granular structures that are accountable for highly specific tasks, such as operations, communication and intelligence gathering. This plan-ahead team should be tasked with collecting forward-looking intelligence, developing scenarios and identifying options and actions needed to act tactically and strategically.
Working across multiple time horizons is now becoming commonplace. McKinsey& Co recommend businesses to confront uncertainty head-on. There are five essential steps that need to be taken:
As with most things in life, speed is of the essence. The next few weeks and months will shape the future of your company, and possibly, your industry as well. Taking stock of things right now is essential, and planning ahead based on your financial assumptions, ongoing initiatives and big strategic choices is key.
Companies need to think about disrupting their business models and shape new commercial opportunities, by sustaining their own business operations and also restructuring their company via their operational goals too. McKinsey & Co believes that a ‘portfolio of several dozen strategic moves that range from no-regret moves to point-of-no-return moves’ can also be amazingly efficient in terms of the big picture.
Companies need to understand that in the current situation with the pandemic, things are very fluid. As a result, companies need to have ‘trigger points’ where organisations should begin detailed planning and executions for the next move. Making a decision on when trigger points are reached, is of course the key role of the CEO, which should of course work in conjunction with the whole plan.
At the end of the day, one needs to understand that ‘speed trumps perfection’ all the time. For most businesses, you may not get things right the first time out, as scenarios are always refined and refreshed. So, here’s to keeping ahead of the curve and staying safe as we navigate these troubled waters.
Source: McKinsey & Company
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