Most of the time when clients ask for help to build a strategic plan with a strategy, the goal is to launch and execute a plan for new products, services, offices, etc. that are expected to last a long time. Today, the most important strategy is ”the bridge to the next normal”. How to navigate the Covid-19 recovery period. It’s challenging for two reasons:
- What’s the starting point? Is it the world pre- lockdown or post-lockdown / beginning of the gradual recovery? (For instance, if you used PP money to keep workers employed for at least eight weeks, but know that the old business isn’t viable for the foreseeable future, what do you do with them? )
- What’s the end point look like? Everything is changing, so how much hedging is appropriate, how often are reviews needed to identify continuing changes, etc.?
As I work with my Vistage colleagues and CEO Board members on this process, I came across an excellent article to help you formulate your thoughts. Five Steps to Consider As You Create Your Covid-19 Recovery Plan by Trever Cartwright was published in Forbes. Here are the five steps:
- Surround yourself by smart-people – you will need their help. (If you’re a Vistage Worldwide member, you already have 23,000 CEOs most of whom lead companies of $5-500M. They are smart, have great integrity, are hungry for more success and open to learning: the perfect profile for a support group.)
- Get clear on what “recovery” means for your business. The pre-pandemic world might not be viable now and/or in the future
- Evaluate your current strategic plan and be willing to walk away from it. Focus on two questions: what must we stop doing and what must we start doing?
- Despite the uncertainty, create your recovery plan now. This requires that you (1) identify the most important, non-negotiable decision criteria, (2) Use scenario planning tools to explore alternative future risks and assess rewards relative to your strengths/weakness and likelihood of events/circumstances.
- Align your organization to the plan. As the strategy changes, so too may the need for different workers, culture, organization, etc.
As I noted the road to recovery is a work in progress. Each plan will be iterative. And if you do the proper planning, evaluation, re-planning and re-evaluation, you may discover that your revitalized company is even more efficient, effective, profitable and purpose-achieving than the old one.
Share your experiences building the strategy. And ask our community for help!