Covid-19 diaries, Week 1: “Never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.” The Incredibles (2004)
Before this pandemic I was casually chatting with clients and partners on what may happen to interrupt the growth cycle of the last ca. 12 years: Trump’s impeachment, China / US trade war, Brexit ripples to mainland Europe, Germany auto industry slowing down, Russia / Turkey conflict etc. None of the discussions (obviously) run on an (immediate) pandemic assumption, utterly the quintessential example of a „black swan“ situation.
As such, here below a few (slightly) strategic thoughts picked up from the first few days / week of this crisis, as we’re about to start another week into the unknown:
1) This is going to last: even if the isolation goes away in a few weeks, governments will be weary to open up society and business abruptly, fearing a re-spark of the contagion; thus, across 2020, economy (wider scale) will function with a sort of „handbrake“ on mode;
2) Given above, one needs to pace one’s effort – the cliché saying goes „this is a marathon, not a sprint“: indeed, any high-impact business measures should be taken (or lifted) gradually (even if the immediate „feeling“ is to push full stop or go);
3) Further, the role of senior leaders is now essential to decide what’s strategic vs. what’s tactical in terms of decisions and actions thereof: tactical, although may be more visible (and thus more sensed by the wider organisation), will ensure survival of the business (only) on short-term basis (like sending people to work from home, cutting hours, making sure current contracts hold etc.), while strategic will allow long-term growth (what will change for my business after this crisis, where are the opportunities) – should not be mixed up, least one will find itself quickly in a rut;
4) Think differently and use the momentum to (wisely) challenge status-quo: we are experiencing a once in a lifetime event (hopefully, given its pest nature) – surely difficult on many levels, it also allows us to reflect, observe and challenge ourselves (individuals, teams), our business and our network in a whole new way, likely impossible to be seen during „business as usual“ (whatever that may mean in the future);
5) Lastly, focus on achieving and practicing resilience, above all else: I saw an article on HBR earlier about it and liked the definition very much – it is not about enduring in spite of everything, but about recharging and adapting to changing circumstances as they come. Clearly, a very timely trait to have!
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The views, information, or opinions expressed in this blog series are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of PwC Austria and its employees. PwC Austria does not give any representation or warranty of any kind (whether expressed or implied) as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this blog series. It has been prepared solely for general informational purposes. Nothing in this document should be construed as advice to proceed or not to proceed with transactions or any other type of decisions.