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Beyond coronavirus


Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal, in an article “Beyond coronavirus: The path to the next normal”, answer the question many people would have asked their grandparents, and those who did not, wished they did: ‘What did you do during the war?’

Their answer is a call to act across five stages, leading from the crisis of today to the next normal that will emerge after the battle against coronavirus has been won:

Resolve: Address the immediate challenges that COVID-19 represents to institution’s workforce, customers, technology, and business partners.
Resilience: Address near-term cash-management challenges and broader resiliency issues during virus-related shutdowns and economic knock-on effects.

Return: Create detailed plan to return business to scale quickly as COVID-19 situation evolves and knock-on effects become clearer.

Reimagination: Reimage the next normal: what discontinuous shift looks like and implications for how institutions should reinvent.

Reform: Be clear about how regulatory and competitive environments in industry may shift.

Collectively, these five stages represent the imperative of our time. Sneader and Singhal opined that the battle against COVID-19 is one that leaders today must win if we ought to find an economically and socially viable path to the next normal.

Indeed, we are in a new season… unchartered waters. Even known influencers who are usually proactive are reacting to decisions other leaders in similar industries are making. No one is confident of what their next move should be. Sven Smit, Martin Hirt, Kevin Beuhler, Susan Lund, Ezra Greenberg, and Arvind Govindarajan in an article ‘Safeguarding our lives and our livelihoods: The imperative of our time’, suggest areas leaders should focus their time on.

Firstly, support and protect employees in this brave new world. Many institutions have put basic protections in place for their employees and customers. Companies have activated no-travel and work-from-home policies for some workers and physical-distancing-at-work measures for others. However, for remote workers, interruptions are more frequent than in the office.

Making a mental separation from a sometimes-chaotic home life is tough.

Workers are finding that they don’t have the skills to be successful in an extended remote environment, from networking to creating routines that drive productivity. They worry that staying remote could make them less valuable, especially in a recessionary environment.

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