Surviving the COVID Crisis is not enough; like past crises, COVID-19 will pass however it will create a new normal and it is in this context your business or organisation needs to learn how to thrive again.
During recent economic downturns, some 15% of businesses grew both their revenue and their profit by positioning to capture opportunities and shape their postcrisis futures (HBR). Therefore just surviving the COVID crisis is not sufficient, you need to concurrently position your business for success in a Post-COVID world.
Why you need both a survive and thrive strategy
In a Pre-COVID world, your business was probably doing well and you and your team had planned on how to improve and grow the business. However, right now most businesses are going through what Waterfield refers to as the ‘COVID shredder’. Your current business model is being shredded, and you not only have to survive but you also need to work out how to thrive in a Post-COVID world.
During the same period, you and your team’s psychological state will have moved from one of relative contentment, to now the general sense of confusion in the face of high uncertainty and a fast-evolving situation. The path out of this dilemma, starting with the leadership team, is to envision a Post-COVID world where the organisation is once again successful and achieving its objectives.
Both strategies together
‘Can I survive first and then worry about thriving later?’…
The answer is no, because the decisions you make now will have an impact on your ability to respond to and thrive in a Post-COVID world.
Attempting to survive by looking backwards at yesterday’s business model is a formula for disaster. This is because the Post-COVID world will be different.
For example, past crises such as the GFC, Hurricane Katrina, Australian fires and floods and 9/11, have taught us that the peak of bankruptcies happen 12 to 24 months after the crisis has abated. This is because surviving is an event and it does not build a sustainable future for your business.
Survive and thrive process
The steps are:
Your Pre-COVID growth strategy needs to be hibernated and a Survive and Thrive Strategy needs to be collectively developed and resourced. In order to execute your Survive and Thrive strategy you will need a crisis response team who can work quickly and effectively. We call this the Triple 2 Response Team. This team is working at a greatly increased pace as the external environment continues to move frequently and significantly.
Triple 2 refers to the rapid timings;
- Your strategy is reset every 2 months
- Your rollover is held every 2 weeks
- Your standups are held every 2 days
This accelerated execution pace will allow your business to learn and adapt rapidly.