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How we can help you survive and thrive during Coronavirus to transform your business

by Nik Gowing & Chris Langdon

Filed under Coronavirus

The human capacity of leaders to adapt, survive and thrive in radical uncertainty is the focus of Thinking the Unthinkable. For six years, we have helped leaders to confront and embrace volatility and radical uncertainty. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and deep economic recession have taken this challenge to even greater levels.

We are all experiencing and confronting the unthinkable. The new realities must now be compared to a time of war.

To survive, businesses and their leaders are having to handle brutal new realities at high speed. The threats are existential on multiple fronts.

The unthinkables are stark for us all, both for human survival and business survival. Just keeping going is a huge challenge. In parallel to the pandemic is a major recession which is far more complex and wide-ranging than the 2007/8 financial crisis.

BC – Before Coronavirus – a large number of leaders were already confidentially revealing to us that they were ‘scared’ by the existential challenges they faced, especially from the climate emergency. The impact of the pandemic means they face even deeper and wider anxieties just to keep their organisation solvent and their employees in work.

We are all in uncharted territory. And we can’t yet plan for ‘post COVID-19’. Medical experts make clear that the Coronavirus crisis will not go away in the near term.

Conformist, cautious thinking will only kill your organisation. Therefore leaders have no option but to learn and adapt rapidly. They must not assume there will be a natural return to the “old normal.” The lessons will continue to be brutal because current business models are out-of-date.

We can help you to adapt and innovate how you lead.

We can guide you how to have difficult conversations on transforming your organisation; how to move away from command and control, and how to draw on the often untapped insights of your staff. We can also help you frame frank conversations with staff who are anxious about both their future and your organisation’s.

You need to act fast. We can help and support you. We can offer help with communications. We can help you transform your leadership and your organisation to make it fit for the new era of radical uncertainty.

We will draw on our team of experts in business transformation, data analytics, neuroscience and crisis management and communications.

What We Offer:

Stage One

  • A critical understanding of the impact on your organisation and leadership from the existential challenge of Coronavirus both immediately and over the next two to three years.
  • Encouragement to engage in the necessary difficult discussions at all levels. As trusted outsiders we can help facilitate those conversations.
  • Co-designing highly interactive, tailored sessions to help you communicate and listen rapidly to your staff who face the unprecedented challenges of rapid change and concern about their future.
  • Independent and confidential data analysis of the public information and guidance available with cutting edge tools. This is framed by our unique database of research on leadership.
  • Advice on using digital communications, including webcasts and podcasts, to get key messages to your staff, suppliers and customers effectively.
  • Capability to design and deliver online events – conferences, webinars, ‘all hands’ staff meetings, or key client-facing events using much admired virtual techniques that can help replicate face-to-face interaction. See our recent testimonials.

Stage Two

  • Advice on developing new working practices that ensure robust, inclusive debate to optimise decision making and information flows.
  • Discreet support on developing management and leadership skills to maximise effectiveness from remote working.
  • Expertise on how to use online tools effectively and productively internally to maintain morale and engagement. This is when significant numbers of staff are facing loneliness, or coping with illness in their families and communities.
  • Accelerate capabilities in your firm to combat loneliness and build new communities and common interest groups. The aim is to maintain robust commitment, engagement, mental health and community connection.

Stage Three

  • Building new resilience into the business so it is better able to cope with inevitable future external shocks. This must include recurring coronavirus epidemics and the fast growing impact of the climate emergency.
  • Horizon scanning, plus scenario and action-planning for sustaining and transforming your organisation. As the pandemic continues we anticipate fundamental changes in society and a ‘new normal’ for business models.
  • Bring forward and accelerate work on critical projects for transformation and innovation during periods of disruption.
  • Brexit and the end of the transition period after December 31 2020 will bring a host of additional shocks. Your organisation needs to prepare for these at pace.
  • For the banking and financial sector, the transition from Libor by 2021 will present complex, additional challenges.
  • The climate emergency continues to intensify in parallel to Coronavirus. It remains a similar existential threat for business.
  • We will encourage you to accelerate and embed new responses. This must include reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint plus signposting a positive impact for investors, customers and employees in ways that allay anxieties of the community at large.

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