Fuente: Bain & Company
The COVID-19 outbreak is unlike any previous crisis: traditional crisis-response approaches will not be sufficient. CEOs need to act now, and act aggressively.
As the novel coronavirus outbreak has upended businesses around the world at alarming speed, one thing has become clear to executives grappling with the crisis: doing nothing is not an option. COVID-19 is unlike any previous crisis and taking traditional crisis-response approaches will not be enough.
- The process of containment and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in each country will create major disruption in itself, irrespective of the seriousness of the virus spread itself
- Prepare for the worst, and be thankful if it doesn’t happen; a wait-and-see approach is a nonstarter
- There’s a high likelihood of a substantial revenue disruption, leading to a potential liquidity crisis for many businesses
- The recovery may not be a quick bounce-back; plan for multiple quarters of lower revenue
- Employees and customers are probably experiencing fear or panic
- You need to appoint a senior, fully dedicated COVID-19 war room team focused on this all day, every day
- As CEO, you must be out in front with a planned cascade of possible actions, probably more aggressive than your team can imagine right now
- Customers will change some behaviors permanently, accelerating prior trends; bold action now can set you up for success through the downturn and beyond
Actions to take now
There are several moves that CEOs can take right now to help mitigate the effects of the outbreak and come through stronger on the other side.
As the economic fallout continues, business leaders will want to first model their exposure to the coronavirus fallout and street test their P&L and liquidity. There will be critical “triggers” where more aggressive actions will be needed (see figure below).
We recommend immediately launching three actions simultaneously:
Align your senior team with a wake-up call
- Get the full team aligned with the true severity of the macro COVID-19 situation and worst-case financial scenarios
- Set safety as the No. 1 priority…
- … and cash conservation and liquidity a close No. 2.
- Avoid inaction; “wait and see” could damage the company
Establish a dedicated senior team in a war-room setting
- Set up a senior, dedicated team from multiple disciplines (ops, sales, HR, finance)
- Prioritize and put major work streams into action; set a tone of daily progress using Agile approach
- Break the usual reporting and update cycles; urgency requires a different model, such as daily informal CEO updates
- Put a tracking tool in place
Outline macro scenarios and translate to contingency plans
- Outline specific macro COVID-19 scenarios, by major geographies
- Translate those scenarios into tangible revenue-decline and operational-disruption scenarios
- Begin to outline no-regret moves—there will be an impact; start acting
- This needs to be done in days, not weeks (and you can continue to iterate)
Map out a war-room plan
After getting started, set up a plan for at least 6 weeks out, broken out into stages.