As businesses will shift focus on preparing themselves for the next normal in the Covid-19 era, some changes adopted during the current crisis might be made permanent. This might well have implications for the purpose and overall positioning of an organisation that an employer should closely monitor.
Life after a pandemic will make the world look different. Industries and supply chains will be reshaped, value pools will have shifted, and new behaviours will become the norm. Getting ahead of trends by developing privileged insights can make the difference between leading or lagging in an industry for the subsequent decade. These changes might be profound enough to require a reassessment of an organisation’s value proposition, and even its fundamental purpose. Employers should also closely monitor how competitors are evolving and where they are investing, as well as make sure these realignments are factored into management’s long-term plans. By connecting management teams with a larger ecosystem of innovative players, employers are hopefully able to widen leaders’ understanding of shifting business conditions.
It is never too early to plan a response to future shocks. An employer’s role makes it well positioned to ensure that key lessons from the current crisis are captured and synthesized. The importance of remote-working technology and enterprise wide action plans, for example, can guide new governance measures that make organisations more resilient during future disruptions including potential later waves of COVID-19 outbreak.
The McKinsey research team urged employers to challenge its management team to address a critical question: Is the risk-management approach sufficiently robust to respond to another “black swan” event?” The coronavirus pandemic is, first and foremost, an urgent health crisis affecting countless people around the globe. The scale of change it might bring is immense. To manage a crisis of this magnitude successfully, employers need to help management balance short-term priorities with long-term goals, actively engage with shareholders and other stakeholders, and support a fundamental rethinking of long-term strategies. Management teams might need employers to extend them a greater-than-normal level of trust so that leaders can rapidly respond to unprecedented conditions. While oversight and control remain vital, employer directors’ wisdom, insights, and experience have never been more important. employers should seize this moment to step up their game and provide critically needed guidance to their organisations.