10 Things Leaders Should Do Now in the Wake of COVID-19
1. Do not take a wait and see approach to the crisis. If you wait to see what will happen, it may be too late when that time arrives.
Hint: Act now. Take bold decisions and adjust as the situation unfolds.
2. Put a Response Team together to monitor the situation daily and report up. This team should be structured to get input from all relevant stakeholders. Traditional communication/reporting channels are not going to be effective.
Hint: Time is of the essence and you need to have your finger on the pulse of the key company matrices.
3. Do Not underreact. You will regret it. Plan for the worse and build downside scenarios, even as you work towards positive outcomes.
Hint: Take a Winston Churchill approach at this time. It’s not ‘peacetime’
4. Start implementing cost-cutting measures. Reduce or eliminate all non-essential expenditure.
Hint: Be clear on what is non-essential. Conserve your cash but don’t be pennywise and pound foolish. Get professional advice if needed.
5. Review your operations and all financial commitments, with a view to reallocating resources to areas that are more aligned to present and future cost structures.
Hint: Re-imagine everything now and post-epidemic. The future is uncertain, but we know for sure it will be business unusual.
6. Immediately implement specific revenue protection measures to mitigate the expected decline in some core revenue streams.
Hint: Revise all projections and do the financial stress tests.
7. Over-invest time and resources in implementing best practices and guidelines in the interest of all your stakeholders. An employee and customer-focused approach will pay dividends after this is over (and maybe before).
Hint: Identify the weak links in your operations and do not take your eyes off other threats e.g. cybersecurity.
8. Put financial arrangements in place to cover for the extended quarters of decreasing revenues.
Hint: You should be talking to your bankers/financiers if you need additional funding.
9. Start creating the future for your company now. Things will not get back to normal for now, if ever.
Hint: What will you do differently? Step away and take a ‘balcony view’ of your current business.
10. New behavioral protocols must become the new normal. Our lives and livelihood depend on it.
Hint: Be safe. Our pre-existing conditions (behaviors and mind-sets) are not our friends. They are the enemy, like pre-existing health conditions are for the virus.