The Crisis Playbook, Part 3: Business Tactics During, and After, COVID-19

How we work needs a radical rethink. To support our clients, we’re building a best practice playbook for businesses: how to navigate now and plan for what’s next.

Sam Rothkopf

Chief Development Officer

Looking at the business landscape today, we see three distinct types of business responses emerging. They are:

Activators: Looking to adapt or innovate immediately, well-positioned to contribute directly to public health efforts, currently very active and engaged.

Managers: Seeking business continuity and stability; having to make some difficult decisions in the short term but confident that they can ride out this storm in the medium term.

Voyagers: Seeing major impact at present, and looking to a long-term upturn rather than immediate profitability, but exploring all avenues to ensure a strong comeback in time.

If you recognize your company in this list, here’s our three-part guide to what you need to do right now. We’ve chosen some typical business scenarios and the reactions we’d recommend now and next. We hope it’s helpful, practical and inspirational.

If you missed the beginning of this series, start here.

3: Voyagers

Many clients and prospects are currently struggling to keep up with daily changes let alone plan for their futures. We are in the middle of a market redefining global event. Following this pandemic, almost every industry will face disruption to one degree or another.

As such, brands and companies need to get back to the basics – understanding shifting customer needs and establishing proactive business and customer strategies to survive and thrive in the post COVID-19 world.

As businesses scramble to adapt and survive, it’s challenging to take a clear look ahead. Those who wonder when things will return to “normal” are failing to recognize that we are experiencing a market-redefining global event. It’s not enough to simply mitigate short-term risks to your business – you need a long-term strategy for how your business will need to adapt to succeed in a post-coronavirus world.

And even then, strategy cannot remain static. You need to build foresight and agility as a muscle in your business during this untenable time. we cannot predict the future, but we can prepare our teams to think creatively and deeply understand the value we bring to our customers. Here are a few things to think about as you plan for the coming months:

  • Your pre-pandemic baseline: Revisit your pre-pandemic strategy and vision and reexamine the underlying assumptions it is based on. From who your customers are to what mattered to them, what you were delivering, and how it was delivered. How have these assumptions changed? How will they change? Hindsight is the key to foresight – it’s only by understanding how we got to where we are that we can anticipate what happens next.
  • Seek emergent signals: Think broadly about the new and emerging mindsets, factors and behaviors that will have short- and long-term effects. Take the time to consider where we have seen similar shifts in the past – what can we apply from those events?
  • Plan for future scenarios: Once you have identified possible future states, work with your customers, teams and trusted advisors to think about how you might adapt your business model, offering or product to position yourself competitively. Look for opportunities to build your leadership team’s “foresight muscle” and identify ways your value proposition can adapt to new customer needs and mindsets. This is more about building that muscle than it is predicting the future. Get ready for change, its upon us!

If you are not able to spend time planning for business post-pandemic, it’s a good time to find a trusted partner to help develop a strategy. We have a large-scale, strategic plan which can take a business from a full understanding of needs to a set of stress-tested adaptations, skills and strategies.

By developing the skills necessary to create adaptive customer strategies based on foresight enables you to not just weather this crisis, but set up your organization to successfully navigate future market shifts.

When we come out of the other side of this, some businesses will emerge stronger than before. Will one of those be yours?

Have you pivoted your business strategy?

At C Space, we have a system to help you connect customer insights with actions, build relationships with key stakeholders, and make better business decisions that will set your company up for success in our changing world.