Now that we begin with the first phases of the de-escalation, we see a frenzy of activity from companies. They are making their plans for the return to activity.
During these weeks I have been writing about the preparation during confinement and the definition of the strategy to get out of the crisis:
Companies with a powerful brand purpose will emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis : where I spoke to you about the paradox of purpose beyond sales (companies see it as necessary, but do not implement it), I left you a definition and landed it in the current context (the article is from 03/15/2020).
It is time to redefine who or what you want to be : in this article I discuss the need for companies to look in the mirror and think about how we want our Georgia Phone Number List (or ourselves) to be after the crisis. Which entails redefining the marketing strategy for the new context (03/24/20).
Do we have reason to be slightly optimistic after the coronavirus? : in this case, it analyzed the first data on the behavior of the market in China at the beginning of its de-escalation, the changes in consumer habits, and gave the first guidelines on how to redefine our marketing (01/04/2020).
Marketing guide in times of the coronavirus : and finally I left you a guide on the marketing and business guidelines to follow to prepare during confinement and to try to emerge stronger from the crisis (04/06/2020).
I have been silent for a few weeks (I will be able to tell you why shortly), but recently I found a publication by Federico Linares ( President of EY Spain ), on LinkedIn that has particularly caught my attention. In it, he shares the 10 main reflections they shared with other executives in a debate organized by Thinking Heads and in other meetings with executives of the stature of Kike Sarasola and Belén Barreiro.
The vision of such powerful people has helped me to delve into things that I already mentioned in my previous articles and to reflect on new topics:
1. People first: employees, customers and suppliers
“People always come first in a company. The health and safety of employees, customers and suppliers take priority over any other consideration. ”
I like to describe the process of defining a strategy, with a phrase that supports this first reflection:
Marketing from the inside out, and from less to more
I think it is always applicable, but even more so in the situation in which we find ourselves. We have to protect and strengthen the heart of the company, by common sense and because by doing so the results will be shown in the following layers: customers, suppliers and I would add community.
2. Constant and transparent communication
“Communication and transparency in complex decisions are essential. To deal with a crisis, you never over-communicate and you are never overly transparent. ”
When we are in a crisis it is essential that all teams are updated with the latest data, and that the facts are shown with total transparency.
These are difficult moments in which doubt, uncertainty, and why not say it, fear plans for the company. For this reason, all members of the company must move forward at the same time , have clear things and trust in the direction.
Perhaps Federico Linares is taking it for granted at this point, but I would emphasize that the transmission of trust to employees should be one of the cornerstones of recovery.
Of course, difficult decisions will have to be made, there may be great changes and layoffs, but if we respect the principles of constant and transparent communication, and also give our employees confidence, they will develop a better job (and also thinking more about the good of the company, that in his professional future ).
3. Radical uncertainty
“We live in times of radical uncertainty. Agility, flexibility and adaptability are critical strengths of any business. And humility is an essential attitude to be able to observe, listen, ask, learn and be able to make good decisions. ”
Points 3 and 4 are quite linked. At this point he talks more about the attitude to take now, and in the next about how to prepare the company for future crises.
Preconceptions are especially dangerous right now. We have to see the situation of our company with new eyes. We have our experience, of course, but we must not fall into the trap of known solutions. If we are in a new context for everyone, how do we expect the pre-crisis recipes to work?
4. Resilience to an unpredictable future
“This pandemic will pass. But we will not be immunized against new global threats. We must learn from it and build greater personal, business, economic and social resilience in order to face an unpredictable future. ”
Companies must review their processes, define scenarios and prepare for the different probable alternatives (since there are too many possible ones). And to do it the spirit of increasing the adaptability of our company to overcome crises.
Here I would like to add the concept of anti-fragility. If resilience speaks of our ability to return to our natural state after a crisis (shows our ability to recover), anti-fragility is the ability to benefit from shocks.
To understand the concept of antifragility it is better to do it as opposed to fragility. Let’s start with an example. On the one hand we have a fragile object, a porcelain vase for example. This is an object that we will place in a part of the house where it has less risk of breaking, because we know that at the minimum there can be an accident and break. These types of objects (or organizations in our case), seek quiet environments, avoid randomness, uncertainty, etc. They avoid stressors (stressors). On the opposite side we find an object (or company), anti-fragile. It is a company that looks for the random, it looks for those shocks that shake it up, because with each hit it is capable of improving.
5. Will the COVID-19 crisis be able to digitally transform companies?
“Technology and digitization are critical factors of any company or business model and must cover all areas of the company, from strategy to customer , through intelligent, efficient, automated and data-based internal processes. And something important: people and technology always go hand in hand. ”
We have been talking about the digital transformation processes of companies for years, but as we have seen, it is a longer process than expected. The reason is that the necessary milestone is the change in the culture and the people that make up the company.
In this way. Will this crisis be able to mobilize companies towards digital transformation? In my opinion, it will accelerate the change, but it will not be definitive.
6. Take care of internal talent
“Let us take care of the internal talent of the company. If we go undercapitalized during the crisis, the recovery will be compromised. “In the first point he makes it very clear. Take care of the employees first, but in this one he is being more specific. The most talented people in our company may be the most expensive (not always, there does not have to be a direct relationship), but also those who will best help us out of the crisis. So we must be able to hold them back or else we will limp out of this crisis.
7. Constant training
“Training and learnability and the capacity for constant learning form the collective intelligence of an organization, which in turn ends up shaping its strategic vision. Learnability, as an innovation, does not come about spontaneously. It needs a strong corporate culture, driven at the highest level and with agile and efficient processes. ”
This is one of the points that I have been supporting for many years, as a key to the development of people and of the company itself. It’s key. What I am not so clear about is the ability of companies to always provide the necessary and applicable training, and not generic training. The first is desirable, but it is difficult to achieve and very expensive for the company.
8. Public-private collaboration
“Public-private collaboration is essential to overcome this crisis. Spain is showing that it has companies, businessmen and professionals with critical skills for solving the health and socioeconomic challenges we face. ”
I see it fundamental for large companies. I think it benefits both parties. In the context of this crisis, I think that governments must be much more professional, and collaboration with private companies is one way to facilitate this.
9. Our current decisions will affect our future 10 years from now.
“We are making decisions in 10 weeks, which will have an impact in 10 years. Let’s not lose sight of him.”
This reflection has seemed the most devastating to me. We are obsessed with the short term (forever). We prefer short selling, than avoiding long trouble. Companies seem to think: “Shorter profit better, we’ll see what we do when problems arise.” This speaks to us of the lack of strategic thinking in companies, and the dependence of number s on shareholders.
In a context of normality, the long-term vision (having a point of reference, a guide), is necessary to run a DE Phone Number. But in the current one, we are laying the foundations of a new scenario, and if these are the wrong ones, it will take us years to recover.
I understand that Federico Linares refers to the macroeconomic context and the decisions that are going to affect us all as a country, but we can apply this rule to ourselves. Perhaps with a shorter term, but knowing that the decisions we make in this crisis will define us in the coming years.
10. Companies must be increasingly humane
“Business ethics, inclusive and humanistic capitalism, the generation of long-term value and social commitment, are an inalienable ambition for the company.”
My interpretation of this phrase is that companies must decide to take the plunge and really get closer to customers. Stop talking about client centricity metaphorically and start really getting on their side. They must do so with that brand purpose (reason for being aspirational), beyond the benefits that guide the growth of the company and impact on society. In this crisis caused by the coronavirus, customers seek (need) to feel supported by companies. They expect real solutions, for real problems (and I don’t mean the advertising slogan).