Now, Next and Beyond
Let me start with the most important question: How are you doing?
As many of you, I find myself in a “💩 is hitting the fan”-moment of epic proportions. And we are truly he lucky ones — we have a business which, I expect, will make it through these batshit crazy times; we have enough money in the bank to keep paying our employees for the short- and mid-term. It’s hard, but it will be okay.
The other day I spoke to a dear friend of mine who heads up EYQ, EY’s global think tank. EYQ looks at the world in three time dimensions: Now, Next and Beyond. In the world BC (Before Covid-19) “next” was 1-2 years out, and the beyond was somewhere past the five year mark. Today Now and Next are happening in parallel and at the same time, while Beyond is AC (After Covid-19).
It requires a very different view of the world and leaders to show up in very different ways. Fluidity has replaced stability. Now, more than ever, we ought to fall back to scenario planning. You need to know what the boundary conditions are, to give yourself the option space in which to navigate in.
And double-down on your financial planning. Now, more than ever, cashflow is king.
I hear people talk about this recession being a V-shape (a sharp dip with an equally as sharp rise) or a U-shape (same thing with a bit more time in the dip) or even a W-shape (as Covid-19 might rear its ugly head again in the fall). From all I can see (and the many people I talk to who know this much better than I do), we are in an I-shape: A complete fall of the cliff like nothing we have seen before. And it will take a while to get out of this. Better be prepared for a long winter.
Now here is the good news: We will get through this. A lot of new opportunities will come out of this. It will make us stronger and more resilient. We need to dig our heels in, do the work and care for those who are less fortunate.