C-Suite Intelligence 27th 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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Corporate Survival Guide for managing the three principal challenges facing businesses
Baker McKenzie
Baker McKenzie have produced a Corporate Survival Guide for dealing with the three principal areas in which businesses are facing unprecedented challenges: Operational, Reputational and Financial.
This concise document helps you identify the challenges and co-ordinate decisive responses to manage them effectively and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on your business.
Access the guide here. 




Ira Millstein on leadership during a crisis
Ira Millstein, known as a visionary of modern corporate governance, is founding chair of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Now 93 years old, he has worked through some of the country’s biggest crises over the course of his distinguished career. Here is some of his sage advice: 
  • Leadership is followership. “If you don’t earn the trust of your people then you don’t have the followership needed to be a true leader…if you’ve demonstrated leadership by being bold and courageous enough to do what you have to do when you have to do it, then when you find yourself in a crisis, your people will come on the difficult journey with you.”
  • Meet more. “The most important thing boards can do during a crisis is spend time together, as a board, and with management.”
  • Focus on the now. “Stock price and market fluctuations in the moment are not great indicators, so recognize that you could have to sacrifice short-term profits and other benefits if you want a future…There may be an opportunity for growth that should be accelerated, such as a potential acquisition. Or maybe the opposite, such as forgoing M&A for now.”
  • Culture is key. “If your corporate culture is fundamentally based around the belief that long-term business viability and social purpose are inextricably linked, then managing through a crisis is the ultimate pressure test.”
  • Be bold“In a time of crisis, use the best information available to take necessary risks. You cannot plan with certainty, period.”
Read here for full details.
Survey of 250 CMOs: top three tips about growing in a down economy
Almost without exception, CMOs are ripping apart plans, restructuring departments, and figuring out new ways of working and connecting with customers.
However, Facebook and Google advertising is 20% cheaper than it was pre-coronavirus and internet use is at an all-time high so there are opportunities to connect. The survey shows that 73% of marketing leaders are actually increasing their marketing efforts, split as follows: 
  • 28%: more advertising
  • 18%: more content marketing
  • 15%: focusing on organic growth
  • 12%: more social media marketing 
64% are adjusting offers and tactics, but only about one in five are offering discounts: 
  • 43%: changing focus, product, and/or marketing
  • 21%: creating new offers and discounts
Just over half of the 250 marketing leaders also said they were focusing on client retention: keeping what they have. That includes extra service, extra communication, extra sensitivity, and a total commitment to quality.
Read here for full details.
How to rebuild and reimagine jobs
McKinsey & Company
This article proposes three key ideas for safeguarding and recreating jobs through targeted redeployment and reskilling:
  • Rapidly build online “talent exchanges”. There is an urgent need for transparency on changing demand, growing job opportunities, and information on existing skills that may be underutilized and for better, faster matching between job seekers and employers. Industry associations, labour agencies, and groups of large companies can quickly create exchanges or portals on which employers can post new openings and displaced workers.
  • Reskill at speed and scale. Governments, business associations, and educational institutions should be asking themselves, “How do we use the downturn to retrain and future-proof our workforce?” The temporary decline of some industries also provides an opportunity for upskilling toward future-skill-growth areas.
  • Design effective, government-backed incentives for redeployment and reskilling. As governments provide crisis support to businesses and individual workers, they can incentivize several important shifts that will help reshape economies to be more productive and equitable when they recover from the crisis. In return for financial support—such as subsidies and tax rebates—during the crisis, governments can require businesses to invest in training and upskilling their workforces.
Read here for full details.

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