When we explored the greatest challenges in strategic corporate governance a year ago, we highlighted the growing pace of the international economy and global value chains. Fast forward to now, and we’re facing the challenges of an abrupt slowdown and crisis management.
COVID-19 hit us all with full force – head-on and unexpectedly. This is surprising really, especially as various organizations and authorities had already clearly flagged a global pandemic on their list of potential risks. However, the past year has reinforced the importance of one core leadership competence in the board of directors: agility. The ability to react flexibly and professionally to external influences has proven a critical success factor. Again this year, the coronavirus will not release us quickly from its grip. The board of directors will have to adapt its strategic management of the company depending on how the virus develops; this is true across industries and regardless of a company’s size or location.
Significant upheaval and uncertainty will define the work of all business leaders as they face questions in the months ahead. How can we maintain or adjust business operations? How do we manage a decentralized workforce? How can we accelerate digital transformation? What will make supply chains more robust and strengthen customer loyalty? At the same time, though, some companies are identifying new growth opportunities even in this uncertain environment.