More CEOs than not will tell you they were thoroughly surprised by how decisive their organizations turned out to be in the heat of the Covid-19 crisis. With no choice but to act, management teams scanned the horizon, quickly assessed what was changing, and made commitments based on the best information at hand. Not all decisions were the right ones, but course correction became part of the drill. Many acknowledge the freedom of movement was liberating.
In a post-pandemic world, the challenge is keeping that energy alive. As the global economy recovers, the expected surge in demand will produce unprecedented opportunities for companies prepared to act decisively. Yet many CEOs know from long experience that more time to plan and deliberate is often the enemy of action. Traditional approaches to strategy—analyzing trends, making detailed forecasts, and committing to only the “best” course of action—aren’t calibrated for the high degree of instability we face today. Those processes tend to be as ponderous as they are cautious, looking at the world incrementally and searching for certainty where there’s none to be found.
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