Your Current Leadership Post-Coronavirus Age | FTI Consulting

Is Your Current Leadership the One to Take You into the Post-Coronavirus Age?

Strategic Communications | Financial Institutions

May 18, 2020

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Everyone, whether a corporate conglomerate, an international company, a national supermarket chain, or even the corner coffee shop, recognises a new world order has been ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We don’t know how this new world order will affect businesses just yet, despite the many critiques and research papers, nor we do we know what changes we will have to make. We do know how we work will be changed. The immediate question must be asked, especially in the corporate and company structures — and it’s the hardest one — is this: “Is your current leadership the one to take you into the post-coronavirus age?”

If you are part of the one third (or the 99%) that has a succession plan, your best scenarios are to revisit it, and the worst is to abandon it. Maybe you do need a different kind of CEO. Companies should include the entire C-suite in an effective succession plan — emergency or otherwise. And always keep in mind any succession plan, even in a time of crisis, requires collaboration with investors and board members.

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the human resource departments were facing an existential crisis, often failing to recognise the need to approach talent acquisition through innovative and creative procedures and relying too much on old tried and tested (and failed) profiling tools.

We know the economic impact will be harsh. There will be workforce layoffs, including from the C-suite. It is accepted that an equipped skill-sets (which can be learned) is no longer as important and that what companies are seeking are people who not only understand the company culture but bring more diversity to the cultural milieu. Succession plans must include the search for talent both linear (within the company) and lateral (outside). This applies from the top down.


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Max Gebhardt

Managing Director, Head of South Africa Strategic Communications