Blog - Strategy

How Covid 19 Can Be A Catalyst to Make Your Company Stronger

Posted by Tim Lewko on May 4, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Covid 19 is a catalyst for decision making  - Here's 3 actions to fortify your business and emerge better than before.

A crisis creates the best and the worst situations.  Covid can be a catalyst to reshape and fix what you knew or felt was wrong  but did not act on it. Also, its a time to ensure you are assesssing all sides of how the virus is impacting your business.  Here's 3 ideas to consider for your businesss:.

1. Shorten Your Strategic Time Frame

For all that has been written on the changing global landscape where speed, agility and flexiblity are key - companies still languish behind with strategic timeframes that look out too long.  

Shorter is Better

The 5 Year plan is folly.

It does not mean you don't have a long-range vision for your company but attempting to get behind five years of assumptions penalizes agility.  It causes overconfidence in your view of the customer and competition. It limits new ideas. It stops the organizational scan  - what is changing in the world and what are the corresponding impacts to our businesss - that everyone in your company should be attuned to.

If you have delayed shortening your strategic timeframe make the decision now to get it to a 1 - 2 and 3 year  time frame set up.  Radically and rountinely test your strategic assumptions against financial results and decisions being made.

Covid created urgency and structural changes across the globe no one could have predicated - your strategy and decision making tools need to reflect this new or next normal we are in now.

2. Critically Assess Your People's Capacity and Capability

Covid has produced the ultimate stress test for capital and resource allocation. This is your opportunity to remove the curtain and see if things are really as you perceive them in your business.  High performing CEO's and senior leaders  - intuitively and regularly - ask:

"Are my people performing at their highest levels of capacity and capability."

A simple CAPABILITY x CAPACITY matrix is a great tool we use to make this thinking visible and test both expectations and alignment.  In our experience if you ask a CEO, functional leaders and key managers to "Plot" from High, Medium and Low  -  how they see the organization performing from a Capability (Are we as good as we think?) and Capacity( Are we doing as much as we can?)  we usually get the picture below.


The outcomes of this assessment force many decisions on people everyone in the company knows should have been made a long time ago.  

This format, not only for people can be used by function, by factory or set up to understand what are the future capabilities and capacities required given this next normal.

Your answers and of those of your peope may surprise you.

3. Deconstruct Impact Covid by Geograpy, Industry and Product Segments 

The third way to strengthen your business during Covid is  to ensure your assesssment of its impact is valid.

Working with top executives in Hong Kong, Mexico, Europe and USA over the past 2 months has been eye opening.   Covid truly has impacted everyone - but high level generatlizations have left many in a better or worse situation than they really are - meaning - they are making decisions with only partial data or data not based on reality.  

To get a better grip of the impact ( good and bad)  on your business you should get different views of how it is impacting your Revenue(R), Cost(C) and Profit(P).  To do this take your companies PRODUCTS and MARKETS and put them in a matrix format - and evaluate impact: HIGH, MEDIUM or LOW. 

View 1: Products (or services) by Geographies you serve

View 2: Products(or servicess) by Industry Sectors you serve

View 3: Products (or servicess) by Your Top Customers

By getting 3 views of the same problem you better isolate true areas at RISK, relative priority of impact and ensure or confirm the actions you have in place now are the right ones.  


For more on HOW to do any of these, quickly and pragmatically - feel free to reach out to me directly.