CEOs urged to map out ‘new normal’ strategies
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - May 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — While everybody is facing imminent changes in going back to business, chief executive officers are encouraged to map out strategies to conform with new normal market behaviors.

“Even if the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varies across sectors and regions, it is no exaggeration to recognize that the struggle is real,” said Marivic Españo, Chairperson and CEO of P&A Grant Thornton.

For business leaders across the Philippines, the actions they take now and in the weeks ahead—especially as quarantines are modified or loosened—will define them and their companies, added Españo.

For many business executives, the toughest leadership test is how to deal with the coronavirus crisis and its aftermath.

CEOs working urgently to balance dozens of critical priorities each day are starting to focus on two leading questions: “How can we navigate through the crisis to emerge stronger than others in our industry?” and “How can we learn through this experience to win in a new world?”

According to España, as economic life appears to stabilize, organizations need to be ready with the right strategy to outperform their industry peers. “Companies that adopt more quickly to the initial transition—and, eventually, to the new environment—will emerge stronger.”

However, this recovery will be different. Factors such as how widely different markets bounce back or whether people are forced back into quarantine with subsequent outbreaks of COVID-19 complicate the picture. Knowing what will happen next  is impossible. However, it is possible to consider the lessons of the distant and recent past when thinking about the future.

The following elements will be essential in shaping the new norm—and business leaders will need to come to terms with them: workforce, capital and resources, operational model, and supply chain.

Workforce

During these uncertain times, businesses must assess their plans and realign their activities to adapt to the new rules prescribed by the government.

“Businesses must be willing to try new practices, switch to better tools, and update action plans for the short, medium, and long terms,” she said adding that updated processes will help businesses adapt to a changing market and set them on track to a brighter future,”

Capital and resources

Pre-COVID-19, cash budgets were calculated monthly. Since the coronavirus crisis, however, organizations have been reviewing their cash assets as often as weekly.

España suggested that businesses should project their accounts receivable realistically and review other cash sources. Next, is to list down all expenses and other cash outflows.           Finally, analyze the accounts payable to suppliers, taxes, and payroll from the previous period.

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