What’s going on behind closed doors?

As the usual fast pace of many businesses dwindles, new sales opportunities come to a dead end and workers start to be furloughed, it is important to consider what can be done to make productive use of this time. What are the most dynamic and agile companies doing to ensure they come out the other end of the Corona Virus Crisis fighting and ready to rejuvenate their business?

Strategic soul searching – has your company been drifting?

Time for thinking, at present, seems like a long way off. This week, according to many of HorrexCole’s clients, is about scrambling to organise short-term business operations. The BCC Coronavirus Impact Tracker showed that 62% of UK business respondents have less than 3 months cashflow and 44% of those respondents expect to furlough at least 50% of their workers in the next week. Senior Leadership across the sectors are contemplating the difficult question of who is critical and who can be furloughed to eke out cashflows to cover costs until revenue levels normalise. Many businesses are currently consumed by setting up the company to ride out the storm; to survive in the meantime, until life returns to some new form of ‘normal’ and economic and business recovery can begin.

With an estimated 22% of the UK workforce considered key workers, that leaves the other 78% wondering how to help generally and how to support the businesses they work for and, in some cases, if there will be a job to go back to when all is said and done. Leadership will need to play a key part in determining this. Their anticipation of how and when their sector picks up and how their company aligns itself to a hopefully fast new growth pattern will be vital. In the meantime, a review of company strategy in light of the new marketplaces, will help to facilitate an effective relaunch when the opportunity arises. The new fast-evolving business environment should be a reality check for all Senior Leaders, the pondering of which should take priority in the moment of quiet that inevitably follows the current frantic activity. In the cold light of day, some may find that their company had been drifting away from their core strategy, or that current strategy has become outdated in today’s market, making it an ideal time to objectively assess current business direction.

Where will the market relaunch – deciding on positioning to make a positive start

A crystal ball may seem a very useful asset right now! Many companies, some predictably and some less so, will likely be gone in the next six months, unless they can quickly reinvent themselves. Assessing and trying to predict what the competitive landscape will look like in the near future will be of great value. Senior leaders will need to draw on the expertise of their Chief Marketing Operators and the rest of their Executive team to judge the most appropriate strategy and positioning to prepare for and adopt post-lockdown. Companies with a diverse leadership team will likely find this easier offering them the ability to draw on a multitude of perspectives, approaches and skill sets.

Many sectors will just continue ticking over, some will be working at more than maximum capacity through the lockdown, but regardless, all sectors will need to reassess what the shape of the world in 6-12 months means for their overall strategy.

Being meaningful in the meantime – contemplating what your business could do to help

It is difficult to feel morally justified about focussing on the business long-term in the current situation. With Corona Virus cases increasing each day, many companies are rightly taking corporate social responsibility to a new level by looking inward to see what skills and resources they can offer to help. The British media is full of admirable examples. This will have real impact if everyone clubs together to help, but more than that, it will show employees where their company’s values lie: that they are working for an organisation that cares and that they can be proud of. When all of this is over, it is the acts of bravery and those companies who behaved with thought and conscience that will be treasured and lauded.


HorrexCole is delighted to be doing our little bit to help too! Our sister company, eSift, is offering FREE recruitment CV sifting and shortlisting services for those companies needing to hire at volume quickly to provide support during these challenging times. Companies can use this service from now until the end of April for a day, a week, or a month…Whatever they need. If interested, please get in touch.

HorrexCole is a boutique executive search firm offering research, talent mapping and comprehensive search solutions. Our unique pricing model has NO upfront retainer or cancellation fees offering clients a fair and flexible solution at this unpredictable time.

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