Helping your business thrive in response to Covid-19

Laurence, CEO

The global pandemic we are experiencing is a tragedy of vast proportions. It is a human tragedy for the victims of the disease and their families. It is also an economic tragedy. COVID-19’s impact on the global economy will be as great as the Great Depression in the 1930s. In the UK alone in the first 6 weeks of the crisis, 60,000 companies folded. It is predicted that by the end of June almost a third of the UK’s companies will have gone to the wall. 

Whether this tragedy results in knock-on events similar to the Second World War depends on our actions as leaders now. We have the opportunity to ensure we steer our businesses so that we can contribute to the successful emerging of an economy that can support the worst off.

At Rufus we aim to engineer a meaningful difference to people through extraordinary digital experiences. On top of the multiple volunteering efforts of our furloughed people, we felt we could also support the many business leaders we are connected to. Over the last months we’ve been talking to our clients, colleagues and peers across the marketing and digital industry. We’ve been humbled by everyone’s desire to share their knowledge, resources and time. We wanted to pay this forward and share with you the most useful digital resources that we have been made aware of. The idea is to save you time and increase the effectiveness of your response. 

One of the most useful documents that we have been using to guide our thinking over the last month has been this awesome response guide (password: Rufusleonard) from Bain & Co. One of the key tenets of the document is that we must start playing offensive earlier than we might imagine. Slide 14 (below) shows this as we move into Week 6 of the crisis. 

Speaking to a number of you, it’s clear you are already thinking this way. However, we want to share this fantastic “Recession Rebellion” series of webinars from an independent consultancy called Corporate Punk. After watching the first episode, I’d go straight to Episode 10 (“Turning inertia into advantage”) to get some further inspiration.

We’d also direct you to this webinar from London Business School (“Surviving past survival mode”) which identifies the characteristics of organisations that survive and then thrive through a recession:

· Leaders with speed that address reality

· Honesty. Simplicity. Directness

· Clear, bold, realistic narrative

· Under-promise & over-deliver

It’s interesting to see this league table of brands (from Brandwatch) that are winning plaudits and attention through their empathetic responses to the crisis. Brands that are rapidly adapting to use their core competencies to make a meaningful difference are being recognised. Forrester makes this point well in advising organisation to continue to invest in innovation that delivers value and dependability.

And finally, as leaders it’s difficult not to feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. You must be kind to yourselves. Don’t expect to be as productive as you were in February. Make sure you keep prioritising the most important work. And create time to let of steam (and get some exercise) without guilt. Channel the people who are using humour to defuse the stress of the daily COVID-19 briefings.

Check out what is being called the Wikipedia of COVID-19, the Coronavirus Tech Handbook, especially the section for employers. If you find this useful – or want to help get it out to more people – donate to the crowd funder here.

For more brilliant resources that will help your teams thrive, read this blog post