To contain the COVID-19 epidemic, economies around the world have come to a halt. Even now, as CEOs try to stabilize their businesses to get through the lock-down—and amid massive uncertainty—there is an urgent need to plan for what may be several quarters of recession and a very different competitive environment on the other side. While this downturn is unprecedented in its speed and severity, there are valuable lessons from previous recessions. The most important: companies that use the downturn to rethink strategy and focus on the future do far better than companies that simply “hunker down.”

In the coming months, companies will make difficult decisions about how to cut costs and continue to operate. Companies that want to exit the recession in fighting shape will make these decisions with an eye to the future—taking strategic cuts rather than across-the-board reductions, maintaining investments in R&D, streamlining and automating processes, etc.

In this report, we offer a framework for moving ahead, starting with resilience (ensuring the company is in shape to withstand the downturn), recovery (taking steps to weather the recession), and new reality (preparing for the post-recession world).

To learn more, download the full report CEO Mission report.

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