COVID-19 has challenged the business landscape like no other event before it and many in the mid-market are now fully-focused on building greater resilience into their operations. However, true resilience goes beyond short-term survival – it means achieving a velocity that returns the business to a growth trajectory.
Building resilience requires a thorough – and ongoing – monitoring of the trading environment and then tuning the business to optimise performance in those conditions. It is about treating the current downturn – in the words of Professor Andrew Scott of the London Business School – like a pit stop.
In Formula 1 racing, the strategy is for the car to spend a very short time off the track undergoing a highly-focused performance review and reset. That involves changing tyres, refuelling and retuning to complete the race in optimal alignment to the conditions.
So too for businesses responding to COVID-19, they need to look at their external drivers: how their customers are behaving; the changing market dynamics and competitor landscape; where they can access funds; and anticipate and prepare for regulatory changes.
With that insight, businesses can then adjust or transform their internal enablers such as their: people, talent and skills; technology and innovation; operational agility, and the risk and governance processes that will underpin their strategy and programmes. All of these areas work in sync to boost performance.
Francesca Lagerberg, global leader – network capabilities at Grant Thornton International, says: "This is a classic pause, reset, and go moment. Circumstances have just collided in such a way that everybody's being forced to sit back and take a harder look at what they're doing. It's a good time for businesses to 'retune' themselves."
For some, mere day-to-day survival is the number one issue. Ian Pascoe, CEO and managing partner of Grant Thornton Thailand, says: "We're talking about a pit stop team, but many businesses have had a crash. The track ahead has many sharp bends, and the way forward will be difficult in many industries. Yet the companies thriving in a post-COVID world will be the ones that learned to reinvent themselves during times of adversity."
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Our series of insights can help businesses look at the external drivers and internal enablers that will underpin their strategy and programmes and work in sync to boost performance. Read on to take a business pit stop and build resilience.
- Client and customer behaviour
- Competitive market dynamics
- Local regulations
- Access to finance
- People and skills
- Operational agility
- Technology and digital
- Risk and governance