C-Suite Intelligence 22nd April 2020

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

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Getting ahead of the next stage of the crisis
McKinsey & Company
The next wave of disruption—the biggest economic shock since World War II—is headed our way. The challenges associated with it will be orders of magnitude bigger than what we are used to dealing with. To handle them, you need to adopt an operating model that accommodates the extreme level of uncertainty facing your business.
Most companies will be very vulnerable to the economic fallout of extended public- and employee-isolation measures. As the number of issues your business is facing will likely rapidly escalate, there are two practical steps you can take to help stay ahead:

  • Launch a PLAN-AHEAD TEAM to get ahead of the next stage of the crisis.
  • Direct that team to work across multiple time horizons, using five frames. To produce this plan, you need to confront uncertainty head on. Your plan-ahead team needs to work through the following five frames: 
  1. Gain a realistic view of your starting position.
  2. Develop scenarios for multiple versions of your future.
  3. Establish your posture and broad direction of travel.
  4. Determine actions and strategic moves that are robust across scenarios.
  5. Set trigger points that drive your organization to act at the right time. 

Read here for full details. 



Make meetings more productive: do a 'Mindset Check-in' first
Talent Management & HR
'Checking-in’ before a meeting will help your team remove distractions and regain focus. Checking-in is an intentional practice for a team to open a meeting or session. Each participant shares what they are bringing to the table (their ‘mindset’) before the work conversation starts.
Benefits of a Mindset Check-in: 
  • Increases self-awareness and brings clarity about where everyone stands.
  • Allows people to be present: The purpose of enabling participants to share whatever is on their minds is to connect to the now and here.
  • Drives understanding: Knowing where everyone’s mind is at drives clarity. You can adjust how you facilitate the meeting or be more tolerant if someone is acting defensive or being more silent than usual.
  • Gives everyone a voice: For example introverts, outsiders, or junior employees may feel intimidated to speak up. The opportunity to share where their mind is at encourages a space to speak up freely.
  • Reinforces trust: Bringing your vulnerable self to a meeting will encourage others to do so too.
  • Reminds us that we are human 
For an explanation of the step-by-step process for a Mindset Check-in and examples of effective Check-in questions read here.

COVID 19: insights, advice and support
The pandemic is causing disruption and uncertainty across the globe and many businesses are facing unprecedented challenges.

RSM is providing useful insights on critical areas, including reliefs for business, funding and business continuity, to ensure that you are kept up to date.

Should a crisis change your CEO succession plan?
Harvard Business Review
During the 18 months from January of 2008 to June of 2009, at the height of the last global financial crisis, more than 2,000 CEOs of publicly-traded companies were replaced—a record. Although some of these transitions were long-planned, others resulted from boards deciding that new leadership was necessary to deal with the recession and to rebuild their organisations after it was over. Some boards may have believed existing leadership hadn’t reacted well enough to early signs of trouble, while other boards needed someone to blame. Whatever the specific reasons, our last crisis created or accelerated significant changes at the top.
At this point we can’t predict whether the same will happen with our current pandemic and the economic damage that will follow. But even though we’re still in the middle of this crisis, we can make sure transitions from one leader to the next one are managed well.
As directors confined to their homes are replacing face-to-face meetings with tele-conferences and learning to use Zoom, what should they be saying to one another about the succession plans they had initiated? Is a crisis the time to change leaders? Or is it better to avoid dramatic changes during uncertain times?
As boards debate this complex issue, answers to four questions will help them select the right path..
  1. Who should be in charge during the crisis?
  2. When should an outside successor join the company?
  3. How is the company being changed by the crisis?
  4. What can the board learn during the crisis?
Read here for full details.   

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