5. Build resilience in preparation for the new normal
Once companies have solidified strategies and communicated any new directions with relevant stakeholders, they will need to execute based on revised plans while monitoring what continues to be a fluid situation. Senior management should report any material deviation from the plan in a timely manner so that their companies can take additional action to avoid further negative impact.
Once the COVID-19 outbreak is controlled, companies will want to review and renew business continuity plans (BCPs). They’ll want to assess how existing BCPs are working. If there are deficiencies, companies will want to identify root causes, whether they involve timeliness of action, lack of infrastructure, labor shortages, or external environment issues. Companies will then want to consider putting new internal guidelines in place based on lessons learned, as well as solid contingency plans to build resilience and better respond to future crises.
Plan for recovery now, not later
Although there are lessons to learn after the fact, companies should be making decisions during the crisis with recovery in mind.
The COVID-19 crisis is impossible to predict with conventional wisdom and forecasting tools. However, there are many lessons companies can learn and carry forward once the crisis has passed, and they’ve had a chance to analyze their response.
When the crisis is over, it will be clear which companies have the resilience and agility to reshape their business strategy to thrive in the future.
Longer term, companies will need to consider how robust their business, management team and initiatives were in facing the crisis. It will also be important to consider and reset the business assumptions that underpin the supply chain and other concentrations that many businesses have been exposed to over time.