C-Suite Intelligence 7th September 2020

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

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Building a more resilient and sustainable world
World Economic Forum
Catastrophic risk events occur far more frequently than is commonly assumed. It is a certainty that there will be another disruption, even if its precise form and timing are unknown. The model by which society currently manages catastrophic perils – with governments implicitly bearing the brunt of growing protection gaps – is unsustainable, as successive crises have severely strained public coffers.
Building resiliency is therefore the defining mandate of this time. Companies and governments must do more to put themselves on a sounder footing and anticipate and mitigate exposure to catastrophic perils before the next crisis occurs. Two critical imperatives emerge: 
  1. A new “Societal Risk Compact” is needed wherein companies, regulators, policy-makers, insurers, risk advisers and investors all play a part in more proactively managing catastrophic risk.
  2. Resiliency must be better prioritised in corporate and investor agendas, with a new language for describing and justifying investments in corporate resiliency. 


An agile approach to budgeting for uncertain times
Bain & Company
For most companies, traditional planning and budgeting has a comfortable certainty built into it. Managers like knowing what is expected of them. CEOs like the control it connotes. It’s hard to give that up. But precision is not the same as accuracy, and plans that are flexible enough to focus on what truly creates value are worth the discomfort. This article outlines three approaches to budgeting in the current climate. 
  1. Change the purpose of planning and budgeting.
  2. Shift the focus from financial precision to strategic success.
  3. Plan faster and more frequently.
Targeted marketing campaigns are the key to capturing the at-home consumer
Strategy + Business
As spending shifts to at-home activities, people are also being more frugal in response to the economic impact of the pandemic. These trends are likely to persist well beyond the reopening of the economy, as safety concerns linger, companies take a fresh look at their workforce strategy and allow employees to continue working from home, and the economic shock reverberates.
But along with challenges, the unique circumstances of this moment present opportunities. With strengthened collaboration in areas such as e-commerce, category management, shopper marketing, trade promotions, and experiential marketing, companies can more quickly and effectively engage consumers along the path to purchase to reinforce brand leadership and drive higher returns from their activation campaigns.
How to manage uncertainty to gain “uncertainty advantage”
This fascinating article takes an in-depth look at managing uncertainty. It highlights research that shows that some organisations are much better than others at managing the high levels of uncertainty we are currently facing.
These companies have “uncertainty advantage.” For leaders interested in building uncertainty advantage, tips include: 
  • Make a list of five commonly held assumptions about the business and imagine that each one has been shattered. Consider what might trigger these events, how the company should position itself in light of them, and the investments, divestments, and partnerships it should make. Thought exercises like these can lead to breakthroughs.
  • Find the shortest path to launch. Take a counterintuitive idea with high potential and chart what it would take to become reality in your organisation. Where are the rough patches?
  • Empower employees to challenge the status quo. Questioning existing norms and ways of working can feel like a high-risk, low-reward proposition for many employees. To elicit the best inputs, leaders need to model curiosity, create playful workspaces, and forge an active learning organisation that celebrates and rewards experimentation. 

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