The Challenge for Businesses to be Ahead of the Curve post pandemic

By George Shumbusho ~ Experienced Banker on 27 Apr 2020Insight


Well, at this point in time the question is no longer weather Covid-19 is real or not, rather is how nations and governments can come together to strike working partnerships that will accelerate the exit from pandemic. When I mention of coming together, things like coordinated global (and may be regional) stimulus, fiscal and monetary policies and at a later stage actual implementation strategies such as actual global markets derivatives such as swaps, options and the like come into everyone’s active brain. Great, it is meant to be so simply because we are all responsible persons in this struggling globe.


But wait a minute, the things that are mentioned in the above para mainly are meant or rather for the effectiveness, great, timely and lasting outcomes, those elements need be tacked through governments coming together, thinking and acting together. Yes, it can be July 2020, November 2020 or sometimes in 2021, but time will come when together we will need to work towards reactivating the world economy that is in total mess currently.


Perhaps, as governments now are working out their houses in isolation to start with and having at least four key considerations at their working table:- The vaccination & cure; Capacity enhancement (testing, PPEs, enough hospital beds, ventilators etc); Prevention of the possible second phase of same pandemic in the future and Rebuilding the economy. Businesses by and large have to think slightly different though not losing the sight of great lessons from those nations whom at least at interim time we can all agree that they have so far done well in managing the pandemic, Taiwan, Iceland, Germany and South Korea.


For Businesses, I suppose as the struggle continues, each should critically look at how should the situation unwinds (which definitely would!), one will be able to trend ahead of the curve…also known as operating in blue waters (ideally, that’s what always matters). On this, few reflections might be useful so long as they are appropriately weighed and considered:


  • Importance of research and development (R&D) in whatever format that is practical. Whilst this can be indeed of the form of a typical R&D in some sectors, others would embrace this in the form of Data analytics, what is important on this aspect is to invest on finding out, reason and attach meaning to a wide range of scenarios that might be at play, back-testing of data as frequent as possible


  • Instituting information as key additional pillar of business drivers. Here the emphasis should be on both quality of information and speed at which that information is made available to all key decision makers. With time, creating a sound central repository that number (1) above will always make usage of.


  • Scoping-up the decision making exercise. It is important now than ever before that, Businesses to review and re-scoping their internal decision making systems and protocols having considered all the decision making biases known (base rate, availability, confirmation, overconfidence, sunk cost etc) as well as cost benefit analysis on centralization versus decentralization, which and why…and may be to what extent.


  • Demolishing the walls of business as usual to unleash the vital new scalable partnerships and alliances so as to be relevant even beyond the unexpected. This concept can borrow the value chain idea and blow it up to create working synergies    


  • Whenever possible, this is the time to have an additional budgetary element ‘back pocket’ that would cater for unprecedented eventualities such as Covid-19, aim being, there is a starting point should something arise.

Again, since the drive is for businesses to work towards leading the curve (and not otherwise), the five pointers above might not be exhaustive on their own, many more could be considered so long as we all understand that, life will never be same post pandemic. This understanding then calls for each to invest on a rejuvenated yet innovated review process that would guarantee survival.

Please, stay home, stay safe and all the best as you navigate through plans to grab opportunities that the pandemic has brought


By George Shumbusho ~ Experienced Banker