The Covid-19 pandemic stoked crisis management challenges for businesses, but opportunities also emerged.
“The greater and more disruptive the crisis, the greater the opportunities,” said Scott Galloway, author of “Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity.”
A serial entrepreneur who founded nine firms including consulting firm L2, Galloway is also a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Galloway emphasizes it’s essential to understand where a company is on the strategic spectrum of the pandemic. “The right moves for the biggest elephant in the herd are not the smart play for a sickly gazelle,” he said. Which sector a business is in is a factor, too. Some sectors are thriving, others are maintaining or struggling.
Focus your time and money on crisis management concepts now. And your efforts will serve you in the post-pandemic world.
Think Change When In Crisis Management
Patience is a virtue to a point during the pandemic, Galloway says, but companies in hard-hit sectors need to think well outside the proverbial box.
Galloway says to challenge yourself by asking “is there a pivot available?” Or you might find if there is an asset that can be bridged to a new business.
“For every business, this is a good time to forget what you’ve learned and make the hard changes necessary to position yourself for a post-corona world,” Galloway said. “Start with a clean sheet of paper. The biggest opportunities will be in areas where the pandemic is accelerating change.”
Decide If Crisis Management Necessitates Cost Cutting
The post-corona world will continue to prize contactless transactions of all kinds, Galloway says.
“We’ll be dumping business travel, business dinners, and business golf in favor of more efficient email, phone, and video communication,” he says.
For owners and leaders of companies, cost cutting may include reducing salaries for themselves and other top earners who can afford to take a hit.
It’s inevitable for some businesses that payroll will have to be cut, Galloway says. But one exception should be severance pay. “You can’t protect jobs, but you can protect people,” he said. “Do everything you can to provide good severance.”
Find Alternative Means Of Compensation
This could take the form of equity, deferred compensation or more vacation time. “Anything that doesn’t require cash out the door,” Galloway said.
Find perks to replace things like gym memberships right now. And “flexibility around working from home may be by far the most appreciated perk you can offer,” he said.
Another perk that doesn’t cost a thing? “Listening to employees will not only help make the most effective decisions, but it also builds trust, a scarce quantity during a crisis,” Galloway said.
Prioritize More Than Ever
Fluent Health, a company that sells cold/flu products directly to consumers, was launched during the pandemic. Co-founder Jeff Smith recommends his team employ “Radical Prioritization” to set themselves up for success.
“We accomplish much more when we dedicate our energy to the one or two major activities that will truly move the needle — whether it’s marketing to our consumers or making our platform easier to use,” he said.
Tap Into Your Mastermind Group Even More
Executives who don’t delegate feel overwhelmed and unbalanced, Sam Reese says. This can be especially true in times of crisis when you might be putting out numerous fires. Reese is the CEO of Vistage, an executive coaching and peer advisory organization.
When you don’t delegate, you’re also signaling to your team you don’t trust them, he adds.
“What they really want is ownership — they want to be able to take on more challenges and responsibility,” Reese said. “So set standard operating procedures and equip your staff with the knowledge they need to make decisions independently.”
Ensure Meetings Are Productive
During a period of crisis management, what goes on at a meeting may be doubly important.
“Make sure the purpose, time and intent is clear at the outset of each meeting in order to keep things moving and set some guardrails,” Reese said.
He further recommends giving yourself at least 15 minutes between meetings to collect your thoughts and prepare. “This sets you up for success and productivity.”
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