One of the key responsibilities of an organisation is to determine the best response to an evolving situation based on the company’s circumstances after the immediate crisis passes.
While some companies may need to enter a long and difficult period of slow rebuilding, others will find near-term opportunities in big, strategic moves and innovations.
The point isn’t to develop detailed plans but rather to figure out your broad direction of travel—the big thematic idea around which you can form a strategic response.
In a world full of uncertainty, you have to stand for a goal that will matter above all else. This big idea will bring coherence and determination to your evolving tactical response.
With the COVID-19 crisis, hardly anyone will be in the bottom corner of the map as the challenge is so ubiquitous.
Some businesses will have a dominant imperative to sustain, as they will return in similar form but at different recovery speeds (for example, with essential subscription services, such as core consumer telephony and electricity retailing).
Others will primarily orient to restructure to match a much leaner demand environment (for example, the cases of airlines and cruise ships).
Other companies will have less severe demand shocks but will face radically different customer behaviours
. They will have to shift their business models.
Yet other companies and industries will find themselves in a completely different territory on both the axes shown, and they will have to shape entirely new businesses.