News Article

Management and Opportunities in Times of Crisis

By Franco Zúñiga | Fri, 04/10/2020 - 11:11

Crisis come cyclically, striking at any time. COVID-19 is not going to be the last one, as eventually something will shake the economy again. Economic players have learned that scenarios like this always change the rules of the game. 9/11 changed the way airports and airlines applied security measures. The 2003 SARS effect on China changed people’s purchasing habits, helping Alibaba to emerge. But what rules will be changed after COVID-19? And who can be the new Alibaba that comes out after the crisis?

Illness, stock market collapsing, bankruptcy, people losing their job and suffering are the main things being heard about the pandemic effect. But crisis means new opportunities. CEOs must act now and fast, first to survive the crisis and later on to take the opportunities that will come. Crisis are only a change of wealth. After all crisis, we have seen companies going bankrupt, emerging, growing, winning and losing. This depends strongly on the strategy that every leader uses to cope with the challenge. Here is when decision-makers will show what they are truly made of.

Not having an emergency plan is the first mistake CEOs are making. Every time a leader elaborates a strategy, this must consider what happens if things do not go as expected. A research by Howard, showed that of 250 bankruptcies, 70 percent of the cases were because of a poor strategy.

“Every strategy must be supported by a strong and creative leadership focus in human sense,” says Felipe Villareal, CEO of Alian Plastics. Just like him José André Panamá, Director of ride-hailing company DiDi Mexico mentioned that “this is a time to take care of your community not your profit.” If leaders now take care of their employees, then employees will take care of the company. Because of this, it is extremely important having all channels of communication open. This applies not only for employees but clients and suppliers as well. Specially because “motivation will be an important variable,” says Villareal. In times of crisis, employees might feel insecure but a good leader needs to be close to their people. According to MIT professor and author Yossi Sheffi, “when Katrine hit New Orleans, first thing PPG did was to support employees.”

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
There Silent Enterprise, Marketing Week, Leader Summaries, Philip Kotler, Howard 2014, Yossi Sheffi
Franco Zúñiga Franco Zúñiga Industry specialist