Placing a premium on resilience: How businesses can thrive through volatility

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I think business leaders now need to get sharper views. It’s very important that companies are robust in face of the uncertainty that’s coming. So as a CEO, as the top team, you want to know the capital that your company is going to require in the next three, 12, 24 months. You want to know what portfolio projects you have already committed to, the ones that have potential, next generation, and what have you.

You need a clear prioritization between each of those because I think it might come to a point where capital is going to be a critical factor. Don’t get surprised and make sure you are robust. So, that’s the first one, just get sharper views.

The second one I would suggest is the need to develop scenarios. We live in very uncertain times. For example, we hear a lot of talk about a possible recession. It hasn’t appeared yet—we don’t know when, we don’t know how long, we don’t know how deep. In that setting, it’s critical to be thinking about scenarios. Those scenarios allow you to develop triggers for when you’re going to break harder and when you’re going to hit that accelerate button.

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The third thing I would suggest is right now resilience is at a premium; resilience in your operations and resilience in your supply chain. So, start thinking about how you build up resilient operations and supply chains.

And then finally, I do think it’s important to think long term and be ready for the long term. And be ready to invest. We know that there are going to be trillions of dollars required because of the energy transitions that are happening, driven by climate change and the sustainability revolution that we’re living in. We know that there’s a ton of opportunity coming from next-generation technology and digital analytics. So, be ready to invest behind those. But let’s also be clear, know where to invest in the value chain—what are the choke points in that value chain? That’s where you want to be investing behind.

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