Top 10 lessons learned so far
from the Corona Crisis

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Michael Hengstmann

Throughout the last months, COVID-19 has proven to be caused one of the worst pandemics in the modern era. Across Europe, countries gradually lifted restrictions followed by a decline in the number of recorded infections and virus-related deaths. On the other hand, in some countries like Russia, Brazil, and most African countries the pandemic has not yet reached its peak.

 

In any case, all industries and businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with varying degrees of rigidity. The economic impact caused by the coronavirus is still at an early stage with much worse to come in the second half of this year, revealing its mid-/long-term effects on the economy.

 

Business leaders from all over the globe are now discussing how to cope with the new normal and what the lessons learned from the corona crisis are. Our EIP partners, most of them currently working in companies as interim managers in board positions or as consultants in order to lead them through the corona crisis, have discussed what we have learned from the crisis so far. Although no business leader could have foreseen and prepared his or her company for this kind of sudden global crisis, we all learned that our future responsibility is to make our businesses even more crisis resilient.

 

We have summarized our top 10 lessons learned in the following:

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 1

“Stronger focus on employers’ statutory duty of care for people’s health and safety at work will be a key responsibility of empathic business leaders and include ready-to-go contingency plans with short-term responses to new lock-down and infection scenarios to keep business-critical operations running.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 2

Social distancing will fundamentally change the way companies will communicate, in specific with our employees and customers: Video conferencing will often replace face-to-face meetings and travelling and will play a more important role in sales, management and employee meetings, recruiting interviews, or evaluation processes.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 3

“Cash is king: Successfully managing and monitoring liquidity and cash to be a more crisis resilient company will be much more important than generating short-term profits and revenue growth.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 4

“Most CFOs need to build a more resilient financial structure with an even stronger balance sheet backed by reliable and supportive lenders and shareholders to enable their company to manage the next crisis better than the Corona pandemic.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 5

“In times of unpredictable and global crises, business leaders and investors should not solely focus their business strategies on long-term mega trends and investment periods but get used to a more medium-term planning horizon that include worst-case scenarios, additional risk assessments and contingency planning.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 6

Diversifying your customer base and product portfolio while building multiple channels of distribution that are both stationary and online, will be a key success factor for building a more crisis resilient company.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 7

Building a more crisis resilient global end-to end supply chain will require a rigorous risk assessment of the existing supplier base, contingency planning and a higher priority on delivery reliability in addition to cost efficiency to prevent broken supply chains in the future.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 8

Cyber and data security will become one of the top priorities of every CEO to protect companies from being infiltrated with cyber attacks after the sudden transformation and establishment of newly remote workforces by establishing contingency proved IT systems, processes and high quality IT resources.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 9

“Taking immediate action with a dedicated task force and making the execution of a comprehensive crisis contingency plan your key priority is essential for companies to survive a major crisis such as Corona.”

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CORONA CRISIS THESIS 10

“Strong business leaders learn from the current Corona crises and think out of the box to build and a create a more resilient and even stronger organization with an empowered and entrepreneurial management team and a culture of open communication and transparency.”
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