By Prof. Enrique Soriano
The Philippine economy is taking a beating from the health and economic crisis that is affecting the whole world. For the entire 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has left many industries hanging, some severely paralyzed like the hospitality, travel, airline, automotive and non-food retail segments. With limited movements being imposed to minimize exposure to COVID-19, inflow of investment funds coming from China and the Middle East have come in trickles. It is clear that this unprecedented event is probably one of the most difficult economic situations since World War II.
Post Vaccine Period
No doubt the worse is clearly behind us. Watching tranches of vaccines arriving and jabs happening in hospitals, can we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel? Or should we expect more challenges in the global economic landscape in the coming months? To help us make sense of what COVID-19 means to business owners that have been compromised, it is time to ask this fundamental question: Do owners have a recovery plan for a post pandemic market?
In one of my public engagements where I was a resource speaker, one of the participants asked me what key internal intervention should business owners initiate in preparing for the reopening of the economy? My answer centered on leadership and innovation amidst the disruption and the formation of the next normal. I added that leaders must provide oversight of the business under conditions of extreme uncertainty to ensure that owners and executives remain aligned around the long-term vision, core values, financial expectations, and risk management processes.
The Future is Here
There is less time however. Therefore owners must reboot fast. With what has happened to every economy all over the world, every organization must now embrace a disruption-ready culture. I am sharing several key values worth mentioning:
First, thoroughly understand your market. The barometer of most industries is the state of our economy. We are part of what economists refer to as primary cyclical industries and our decline and upswing patterns can be attributed to economic shifts. With the severity brought about by the pandemic, keeping things together during this tumultuous downturn can be tough, very tough. During strategic planning sessions where I am asked to facilitate , I would always hear from talented Boards that they always consider this economic cycle as a real turnaround. That is why planning and bracing for a post vaccine recovery is important. The art of dealing with this pandemic is keeping the business afloat long enough for the economy to kickstart and recover. And that can take as much talent as the redirection of a company’s project lineup.
Which leads me to my next answer. The importance of having the right professionals in your organization is critical to your success. Too often, leaders focus on what the company needs to do. They develop a vision and spend time on strategy before they give any thought to who is going to implement their grand plans. If you don’t have a quality workforce, better start searching for them. However, if you have the best people that are aligned and deployed in the right positions, they will tell you what is wrong, what needs to be done, why an intervention is important and most importantly how to take the company from where it is now to where you want it to be.