The consequences of the current crisis will likely reverberate for years to come.
The economic and health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 global pandemic has unleashed a host of threats and opportunities for all organizations. As businesses work to understand the next and beyond amid the pandemic, many private family businesses should rightly ask what the economic, social and political landscape will look like in 2021 and beyond. Just how will the pandemic accelerate, alter or amplify megatrends that were already in motion before the wave of shutdowns, re-openings and new shutdowns? The impact of this crisis will likely change the way business is done now and for years to come.
Trying to predict the future is even more complicated given the conditions that preceded the pandemic. While the US economy was on solid footing before the pandemic, the global economy was beginning to show signs of weakening. The COVID-19 pandemic deepened these fissures and now many companies are looking to develop strategies that will either support their climb out if they were struggling or sustain growth and drive new opportunities if they benefited during the crisis. Most importantly, all companies should prepare for the next unforeseen event so they are poised to recover from an economic downturn.
The virus has curtailed demand in certain industry segments. Airlines, hospitality, restaurants and other service-related fields have faced massive layoffs as revenues or prices have collapsed. Other segments, however, are booming — namely videoconferencing, streaming and gaming, medical equipment and supplies, retail food stores and online ordering, particularly last-mile delivery services.
As the pandemic persists, some forecasters remain hopeful that we’ll experience a V-shaped recovery, though uncertainty about virus containment continues to fuel concerns about the strength of economic recovery. In our reading of the global economy — and our conversations with clients, industry thought leaders and futurists — it’s clear that all business leaders will need to reassess business plans, growth assumptions, capital or asset allocation decisions and, possibly, their entire business models.