McKinsey & Company
Leading through uncertainty
The news
New challenges. Sure, CEOs had worries going into 2020—but not about a pandemic with the potential to cripple global business on the scale of 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis. Now, job number one is to keep employees safe, while keeping them calm and productive at the same time. The ability to weigh and mitigate risks with a level head is crucial. And many leaders are trying to do so remotely. [WSJ]
New stakeholders. In the latest move toward stakeholder capitalism, more than 450 US business leaders (and NBA star Stephen Curry) signed an open letter asking peers to help them take the lead in preventing the spread of coronavirus—with major traction on social media. Among the recommended measures: work-from-home policies, supporting essential employees like pharmacists and grocery workers, and social distancing. [Business Insider]
What leaders need during a crisis is not a predefined response plan but behaviors and mindsets that will prevent them from overreacting to yesterday’s developments and help them to look ahead.
Our insights
What’s different. Coronavirus has hit at staggering scale and speed, generating a “landscape scale” crisis. Amid near-unprecedented uncertainty, people tend to feel disoriented, out of control, and emotionally volatile. Many have never dealt with anything like it before. (For more on implications of the crisis generally, see our growing collection of articles.)
What to do about it. With little in many leaders’ experience to fall back on, what’s the right way forward? Start with these five steps.
Step up in crisis
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