Planning & Risk Management

The challenge for entrepreneurs: resisting the COVID-19 and building a crisis-proof future

23-04-2020

Luis Feliu

General Manager Spain

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At sea, arguments arise when the boat is drifting, off-course, in the doldrums. When the wind is strong, when the boat is sailing at a good clip, everyone is paying attention and there is no time for personal or banal matters. This is what CEDEC does at our client companies: we mark a destination according to the owner's wishes, we set a course that everyone is comfortable with, and we can all enjoy the sailing.

The challenge for entrepreneurs: resisting the COVID-19 and building a crisis-proof future

The pandemic caused by COVID19 has unfortunately put the world, humanity and obviously companies in front of one of the most complex challenges of the last decades. 
Suddenly, we are facing a completely unexpected crisis with effects that are still difficult to predict and measure.
Therefore, entrepreneurs must be able to manage the consequent problems in the short term, while at the same time designing a strategy for a new reality that will accompany them for a long time to come.

THE PRESENT
Working from home: how to manage the new digital workforce 

The top priority for those running a business today is to protect the health and safety of the people working in the company. For this reason, even before the entry into force of the alarm decrees and the consequent confinement, many companies prepared to activate teleworking have encouraged and immediately implemented the possibility of working remotely, thus avoiding unnecessary movements to reduce risks.

Teleworking has already existed for many years, but more as a formula to combine family and professional life or to be able to count on the collaboration of highly specialised external personnel, but never in such a global, extensive and prolonged manner based on internal and external protection.

Now employers have to learn to lead a "digital workforce", teams of people who do not share a physical space and who work together thanks to the means provided by technology and innovation, but without any physical contact. This is undoubtedly a fairly complex challenge in the direct management of employees, but at the same time it represents an important step forward for business innovation that must be able to be taken advantage of.

On the other hand, this social distance with which it seems that we will have to live for a long time will change many more aspects in business life due to administrative prohibitions and to our own professional ethics. Things that were very normal until yesterday will no longer be possible. Mass and sometimes useless meetings, trips without very defined objectives, considering the control of the labor risks like administrative obligation, are actions that definitively have passed to better life.

In this sense, the COVID-19 emergency should be used as an accelerator of change in companies, which also requires greater delegation by people with coordination functions and a greater sense of responsibility by team members. 

THE FUTURE
Managing the short-term shock and imagining the long-term strategy 

At the same time, moreover, the mission of entrepreneurs is to look to the future: to rethink plans and organizations in different scenarios. This crisis will change forever the way we see and manage business and will put companies in front of old challenges, such as the return of borders, nationalisms, blockages and increase of the movement of people and goods, risk management... This long-term vision is not limited to solving the most pressing problems and it will be necessary to create a new and more resilient business. 

Risk management is an increasingly crucial aspect of business. However, the crisis caused by COVID-19 has shown how much work companies still have to do in this regard. Today, still too often, risk management in the company is limited to more or less predictable, more or less complex scenarios, but always linked only to the business sphere and always managed from the point of view of short-term compliance with objectives and obligations and not from a strategic point of view.

This is no longer sufficient today. This crisis is proving it. Risk is a generalised and intrinsic aspect of contemporary society, interconnected and globalised, which moves and changes at a speed never seen before. It is therefore essential to implement a risk management mechanism, including geopolitical, social and health risks, which is also predictive in order to minimise its consequences as far as possible.

CEDEC, THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
CEDEC helps companies and entrepreneurs with a precious experience in the current circumstances. We are accompanying companies that gave us their trust more than 50 years ago...and we continue with them. We have worked with the founding grandparents, then with the parents and then with the grandchildren of thousands of family businesses that have gone through many vicissitudes and from which they have emerged victorious. This will be a crisis, a very serious one, but one more in the history of those companies that understand that they now have an opportunity to rethink their organization, their strategy and their "modus operandi".

When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.”
(H. Murakami)

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