Yes - we know that you are sick to death of this pandemic and the sheer anxiety that this time of extreme uncertainty has gifted you, but now is not the time to be thinking that you've somehow made it through this thing.
In many ways, the economic consequences of the global pandemic have yet to have even really begun. So this ride is set to continue for some time still to come.
In light of this - the smart folk over at McKinsey have compiled a list of 15 'themes' that they are suggesting boards carefully consider right now.
This is our personal spin on 8 of their topics:
- How do you plan to balance your progress towards the future? The crisis has opened up a lot of new, exciting opportunity, but also demands that companies solve some very real, very serious challenges at the same time. It's important that a careful path is selected that balances the needs of both.
- What 'wildcard' situations might you still face in the future? Company leaders are already reeling from the unexpected surprise of covid-19, but that's not to say that the surprises are all over. Now is the time to be thinking imaginatively about other situations, that come out of nowhere, that could also have a devastating affect on your business, as well as how you might respond to those situations. The idea here is not to build an exhaustive portfolio of action plans, but rather to develop the mental agility and pervasive cognitive dexterity within your organisation to equip you to face just about anything that might come your way in the future.
- How will you ensure that your comfy WFH set up doesn't drive a wedge between co-workers? Top execs work from home in comfort, and lockdown is the best thing to have ever happened to them; lower level workers are hating every minute of it. Remote working has the potential to intensify inequality in the workplace - it's important to think of ways to minimise that and develop a very clear and empathic understanding for the multiple realities of staff.
- How will you help your army of freelance staff and independent contractors survive? The post pandemic landscape may well reveal that many consultant and independent specialists that are not on your payroll closed shop because you haven't paid them for months.
- What will be the knock-on effects of aligned industries failing as a result of the pandemic? Restaurant, bars, hospitality, sporting events are all in danger of bankruptcy.
- Do you know what went wrong and how you can learn from the pandemic? A lack of diversity in value chains has put serious strain on many businesses. If you were left high and dry because of a concentrated supply chain, what are you going to do about that in future? Where else were issues amplified because of the shutdown. How can you improve?
- How can you work closer with government in the future? Most companies around the world don't typically have the best track record when it comes to dealing with government, but the pandemic has shown just how important it is to have an understanding of just how to do this. What's the plan to work more effectively with government from now on?
- How will you foster a pervasive culture of continuous innovation in your organisation? Most company leadership use the idea of innovation as a by-line in their annual reports, but now - it has become the #1 priority of every organisation. How will you encourage a mindset of experimentation in your organisation? What plans to you have to hire and attract the right talent that can accelerate this ideal? How will you cultivate a revolution of creative thinking within your people?
The news media may have moved the headlines on to other, more burning issues, but the coronavirus economic story is only getting warmed up.
There are vital questions to still be asked and explored - it's really up to you, but I would be taking the opportunity to be putting some serious time in everyone's diaries right about now.