C-Suite Intelligence 19th June 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service provides news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions address the exceptional challenges they are facing.

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UK firms and COVID-19: survival, management and strategy
London Business School
What will it take for a business to survive the global pandemic?
In this video, Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School and John Van Reenen, Gordon Y Billard Professor in Management and Economics, MIT Sloan, join Rajesh Chandy, Co-Academic Director of the Wheeler Institute, to explore the emerging economic reality.
As the UK moves into the post-pandemic world, the question is no longer how agile a business is but how resilient it is, argues Professor Birkinshaw. He sets out the latest thinking on reducing downside risk and the strategic paradigms of the new normal.
Professor Van Reenen provides a complementary perspective, looking at the scale of the reallocation of resources within and among firms and between industries. He argues for policy support to minimise the loss of employment and fixed capital.

Embedding trust into COVID-19 recovery
This in-depth article explores how leaders can rebuild trust among stakeholders and best position their companies to thrive in the long term by focusing on four dimensions of trust: physical, emotional, financial and digital
Balancing stakeholder trust is one of the most important items on business leaders’ agenda. Times of crisis present an opportunity to lead with trust. Doing so will better prepare leaders’ organisations to maintain business continuity, to learn and emerge stronger - and to thrive. As they consider the best ways to move forward in a manner that instils trust in their stakeholders, business leaders can ask themselves the following questions: 
  • Which dimensions matter most to each of our stakeholders? 
  • Are we taking this action with the right intent? Does it fit with our organisation’s ethos?
  • Can we competently deliver on what we are promising to our stakeholders?
  • Are we communicating our intentions clearly and transparently to our stakeholders - even when we don’t know all the answers?
  • How are we monitoring and measuring our progress in addressing stakeholders’ needs across the four dimensions of trust? 
Consistently asking these questions will help enable leaders and their organisations adapt quickly to the ever-changing needs of their stakeholders, as well as the ever-evolving external forces shaping their perspectives.
Why investing in procurement makes organisations more resilient
Harvard Business Review
For decades, we’ve placed efficiency at the centre of strategy: We’ve run operations as close to full capacity as we can. We’ve ordered from suppliers in ways that are tightly aligned with our production schedules. We’ve worked hard to minimise costs under the guidance of the CFO, and we’ve delivered financial returns on a quarterly basis. In many ways, this is a system that has worked remarkably well. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, it has a major flaw: It doesn’t help firms develop resilience.
As companies focus less on efficiency and more on resilience, procurement becomes central to strategy. That’s because it is uniquely positioned to orchestrate long-term value-creating systems that can withstand exogenous shocks, share loads, and grow dynamically.
To emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, companies should start reskilling their workforces now
McKinsey & Company
To make sure that organisations thrive after the crisis, leaders and their teams can take six steps to build workforce skills now. 
  1. Rapidly identify the skills your recovery business model depends on
  2. Build employee skills critical to your new business model
  3. Launch tailored learning journeys to close critical skill gaps
  4. Start now, test rapidly, and iterate
  5. Act like a small company to have a big impact
  6. Protect learning budgets (or regret it later) 

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