Four tips to emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis

11 June 2020 3 min. read
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The coronavirus crisis is having an unprecedented impact on economy and businesses. Jamie Page, managing partner for human capital consultancy Heidrick & Struggles in the Netherlands, shares four recommendations to help organisations emerge from the coronavirus crisis stronger than ever. 

1: Focus on purpose and transparency

“Many organisations are facing a lot of different decisions right now. No matter what, a relevant question to ask is, ‘What’s fair for our employees and stakeholders?’ Since these organisations operate in many different countries, and each of those countries is managing the crisis differently, there’s no single guideline that works for every organisation in every country.” 

This is why Page advises companies to let their underlying purpose serve as a guide. “This makes it easier to make tough choices during the crisis. Organisations that are following their purpose are, for example, investing time and money to fight the virus and its impacts. We also recommend that organisations communicate transparently about how the crisis is affecting their business. Organisations like these will have better chances of success.” 

Four tips to emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis

2: Make your executive board more inclusive

Page says that there are two notable developments taking place at the moment with regard to the composition of executive boards. “In the short-term, we expect to see more board members appointed who have experience in the fields of investment, finance, compliance and restructuring,” he says. 

At the same time, various studies show that the best boards benefit from a diversity of perspectives. “That’s why we recommend making executive boards more inclusive. Aim for diversity in every way, whether it’s nationality, background, gender, age or experience level.” 

3: Seize the opportunities of digitalisation

“Now that most board members are working from home, meetings are being held primarily online. This gives board members themselves insights and first-hand experience with the digital transformation and customer experience. That will help them to accelerate the digital transformation within their own companies,” says Page.

To enable their leadership teams to work together more efficiently and prepare for the future, organisations must be quicker to embrace the digital transformation

4: Look for extraordinary partnerships

Recently, new partnerships have been forming in unexpected places. Take the partnership between the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) and Cybersprint, for example. This partnership between a public health institution and a cybersecurity startup has helped detect and mitigate the serious risks of Covid-19 malware in Dutch hospitals.

Page argues that these unusual partnerships can produce extraordinary results. “Executive boards must take the lead in forging these partnerships. These unexpected matches can lead to new opportunities for innovation and growth.”