Reflecting on how to react to the situation posed by the Covid-19 is difficult since each company is a world. No two are the same. Therefore, when we make a list of how to react to the epidemic, we do not think it is to strictly follow it. We simply make abstractions of pure common sense and hope that some point can inspire someone who must make difficult decisions these days. And they must also be taken in the midst of complexity: concern for the health of their loved ones and their own, concern for companies to survive such a slowdown and finally, concern about the social impact of this terrible setback.
Here is the list of suggestions on how we can react to the coronavirus from companies. Each suggestion begins with the verb to think. It is a time to think and also to act.
1. Think of treasury.
The first reaction of a company to a pause like the current one is to watch over the treasury forecasts. Consult the options to maintain a sufficient treasury and analyze the type of public aid implemented associated with the declared state of alarm. To watch over the treasury is to watch over the life of the company.
2. Think about clients.
We live off our clients. We do not live on subsidies. What is happening to our clients? How should our clients be looking at the world? What calculations should you do to restart your activity? It is best to speak to them. Think with them. Doubt with them. Cheer up together. Decide by counting on them. Recovery goes through clients. The clients we have and retain and the new ones we can create. There’s no more.
3. Think of people.
From the first minute you have to think about the community of people who make up the company. In the health of our people. In your family situation. How to convert each job based on your profile and situation. Some will teleworker. Others will not be able to and all operations must be adapted to security parameters.
Machines connect people and they must do it reliably, but what create value is people. In many companies, the technology-business pairing works well. On the other hand, others show that the digital transformation has been weak or that there are people who present functional resistance to a telework structure. Having a company prepared for contingency is essential. Now we have verified it.
4. Think about the value chain.
This global pause differently affects the logic of value chains by sector, depending on their level of globalization, their dependence on raw materials or the displacement of Just-in-time chains. There are recoveries that are not possible if they do not include the entire value chain.
5. Think about our capabilities.
See ourselves beyond what we sell, the products or services that are associated with our brand. Think in terms of what we know how to do well (we know how to sell, we know how to assemble, we know how to deal with clients, we know how to manage complex logistics, etc.) and see if our capabilities allow us to conceive other opportunities.
Break the inertia in our reflection. It is in moments of great hardness where decisions are made that help us rethink ourselves. It is a moment to reinvent the binomial capacities – opportunities. We can intensify our markets, create adjacent projects of what we sell or we can imagine that our capacities give to sustain other offers or other businesses. Keeping focus on business as usual can be a good option, if possible. But also it can be to diversify on the own capacities.
6. Think about agility.
A very good part of the opportunities are only if we respond to challenges with agility. We have seen how very diverse people have made agile decisions. There were some who organized alternative events to mobile and now there are many people trying to print respirators, protectors or make masks. This type of agility is what should inspire us to see how we should react in companies to realize new opportunities. Agility to survive. The best agilities are those moved by transcendent purposes.
7. Think about learning.
The whole experience of the pandemic days cannot be left on deaf ears. The return to normality will suppose an obsession to return to the old normality. It is logical. The first face-to-face meetings will not be to discuss how the company reorganizes.
The first face-to-face meetings will be to tell face-to-face how the treasury is, how the sale, production is restored and how the pending is collected. But it will be necessary to find a space, sooner rather than later, to learn about alternative forms of work, explore what agility can be maintained and what things were done by inertia and can be reinvented to create more value.
8. Think about innovation.
Every great epidemic has brought innovations. SARS in 2002 led to the explosion of Internet use in China. Each deep historical discontinuity generates relevant innovations. We must be aware of how these emerging innovations can affect our customers and how they can affect us as a company. You always have to be ready to explore. Think customer and explore.
9. Think about ecosystem.
It is bad to shut yourself up in such a difficult moment. The natural tendency is to cloister and analyze excel in detail. Opportunities tend to come from the outside. No one is going to pay you the bills. We already know. But in a world that has been paused abruptly, interacting, thinking, contrasting with people from other companies or sectors can inspire us; can provide us with hunches, insights and some reasonable certitudes of what we can do. To pass the Coronavirus you have to lock yourself up at home. To overcome the coronavirus in the company, you have to go out and explore opportunities with others. Also, there is no one to complain to, better get inspired.
10. Think in confidence.
It is time for authenticity. To establish ties between professional communities those are marked by commitment and generosity.
Professionals’ commitment to help get out of an enormously critical situation. And generosity on the part of the companies to share the benefits of business continuity and growth. Confidence in recovery, commitment to concrete efforts and generosity in future profit management.
Many companies will think that this year, the time span between June and October – November should be made the most of. It is supposed to be the space of time of full activity before a possible second wave of the virus in autumn. Many companies will have to agree to work in August, all or in part. Agreements will be required to row everything in the direction of opportunities, but for this, a climate of sensible balance will have to be created.
11. Think about leading.
In the current circumstances, being a leader means not hiding. Reconfigure vision. Exemplify the proposals. Think, but decide. Doubt, but decide. Leaders who transmit confidence, who demand why they are self-demanding, who seek an inclusive solution to this crisis. Let them think in perspective. This deep hole requires a medium and long-term look. More than ever, leading is serving.
12. Think about society.
Finally, it is a good time for all those companies that can think of helping society. There are times when social responsibility is simply an imperative. Those companies that do not think about society at times like the present are companies with minor purposes.
We are living an exceptional moment. We have a family, personal, community gaze fixed on health and the terrible stories of loss of people who die alone. And we must also have a look at companies and the reconstruction of this most severe crisis. You have to do both at the same time. Give priority to health and give importance to recovering the organizations that allow us to live with dignity.