7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Business Model &
Workforce Transformation
Efficiency and effectiveness:
Driving change across the business cycle.
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Operational &
Financial Resilience
Establishing new strategies to withstand the pandemic shock.
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Digital Trust
& Ecosystems
Managing digital risks in a heightened threat landscape.
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Escalation Planning
& Response
Contingency planning and flexibility make
crisis response a reflex rather than a reaction.
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Remediation &
Dispute Resolution
A growing wave of investigations and disputes
will challenge business across all sectors.
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Government &
Stakeholder Relations
Shifting political and societal values
mean new rules of engagement.
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Economic Impact
& Sustainability
Resilience and Sustainability:
Two sides of the same coin?
7 RESILIENCE LEVERS
Real-Time Data
Analytics
Data is the lifeblood of resilient businesses

COVID-19 has been a crisis like no other. For many companies, it has stretched their crisis preparation and response procedures to the limit and beyond.

Nearly 40% of businesses across the G20 reported that their crisis plans were insufficient to deal with the pandemic, whilst many found that their pre-existing response plans lacked flexibility and did not sufficiently cover a range of risks.

0 %

of G20 companies reported that their crisis plans were insufficient to deal with the pandemic

Over

Half

Of G20 companies expect to re-think their crisis response plans in the next 12 months

0 %

Of G20 companies expect to conduct cybersecurity audits in preparation for future crises

INTO THE UNKNOWN

The unexpectedness and severity of the COVID-19 challenge means more companies are proactively identifying potential crises, and 51% of companies said they are assessing their readiness against crisis scenarios. A similar proportion said they would update their crisis response plans.

The pandemic has seen organisations better invest in crisis planning for particular operational areas. For example, 40% expect to conduct cybersecurity audits, which is all the more pressing given the extensive transition to remote working and growing vulnerability to cyber threats.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved it is impossible to have a plan for every eventuality; as such, 90% of respondents across the G20 agree that their company now has a greater focus on planning in principle for unknown risks.

THE INDUSTRY VIEW

Industries varied widely in the ability of their pre-existing plans to deal with the pandemic. Despite being at the frontline of the crisis, healthcare organisations have demonstrated remarkable preparedness: over 70% of healthcare respondents considered their crisis response plans to have been effective in the face of the pandemic, a far higher figure than any other industry.

Other industries’ preparations have been found wanting to a much greater extent. Food and beverage companies have performed particularly poorly, with over 45% finding their crisis response plans insufficient to deal with COVID-19, and the average company in this sector has shed over a quarter of its workforce since the start of the pandemic.

The transport and extractives industries were also unprepared for a slowdown in global commerce. Transport is the industry with the most heavily affected bottom line – the average firm has experienced a 16% reduction in profit. A quarter of extractive companies also reported to be in distress.

Both industries found their response measures severely lacking: transportation respondents were amongst the least likely to have triggered their crisis response plans at all (40%), while extractives companies were the most likely to have found their plans to be insufficient.

EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED
Traditional crisis planning has focused on anticipating given scenarios, with the major drawback that planners are constrained by historical precedent. The global pandemic has taught business that the worst crises emerge from outside the realms of imagination.

Truly resilient businesses are ones that do not rely on contingency planners; they go back to first principles, prioritising flexibility and universality. They focus on accommodating their workforce and facilitating engagement from anywhere. Expansive crisis rehearsals also challenge the company to improve. The end result is that crisis response becomes a reflex rather than a reaction.

0%
of G20 companies are undertaking contingency planning in anticipation of a prolonged economic downside
0%
of G20 companies now have a greater focus on planning in principle for unknown risks
0%
of G20 companies are using AI and analytics to monitor risk scenarios
PROTECT
Cyber incidents, industrial accidents, media scandals, global health crises… Events like these can bring companies to their knees overnight. The first priority for business leaders must be to optimally utilise pre-existing systems and capacities, ensuring their organisation can make effective choices under pressure in response to unique scenarios.
ADAPT
The combination of new technology and an increasingly unforgiving external environment means crises escalate faster and inflict lasting damage. Once distinct concepts, reputation and value are now totally intertwined. As the broader implications of crises become clearer, businesses must be willing to scrutinise their leadership, workforce and systems to identify areas of improvement. A return to fundamental crisis management principles will ensure that business is prepared for emerging threats.
COMPETE
Crises drain morale, cost money, distract leaders and divert attention from organisational priorities. Resilience is essential to staying ahead, and is achieved by building the ability to predict, confront and overcome rapidly escalating incidents. As the new normal takes shape business leaders must examine the broad crisis landscape which comes with it.

Perspectives

Anatomy of a Crisis I – Communicating through a crisis

READ MORE

The Anatomy Of A Crisis: Volume 2 – Why Do Markets Overreact To Profit Warnings?

READ MORE

COVID-19: Is business ready for a second spike?

READ MORE
Tom Evrard
Senior Managing Director, Strategic Communications
Meredith Griffanti
Managing Director, Strategic Communications
James Melville-Ross
UK Head, Crisis Communication

EXPERTS WITH IMPACT

GET IN TOUCH