When developing strategies for the post-Corona pandemic, F9news has interviewed all the top decision-makers in companies, and they are often in a quandary. On the one hand, they can only speculate on the post-crisis framework; on the other hand, it is not only their employees who want to know what is going on.
In the current crisis and market upheaval situation, much that seemed impossible before the crisis is possible in relation to the development of the markets of many companies. As a result, business leaders can rely on almost no valid data in their strategic decisions. 4besnews reported that this complicates their work. In addition, your unsettled employees expect them to be both support and orientation, especially in crisis situations. This, too, must be borne in mind in the strategy work. Here are some tips on how to act as a company and human leader in strategy development in a decision-making situation as diffuse as the current one.
Tip 1: Be aware of your function in the crisis and market upheaval situation.
In the current situation, decision-makers in companies must set the course in their organizations for success – i.e. make the necessary strategic decisions. At the same time, however, as (top) leaders, they must give the unsettled employees support and orientation. This includes telling them "This is how it goes (for the time being) and exude the necessary confidence: "We will do it if ..." Be aware of this dual function and reflect on what this means for your behavior before public appearances and announcements.
Tip 2: Develop scenarios for yourself (in a small circle) and a roadmap on how to proceed.
Because of your Leader function, before you schedule an official strategy meeting, for example, be aware of how your company's market could develop in the medium and long term, alone or in your closest circle of colleagues. Also, consider the best and worst possible. Derive possible scenarios and reflect on what they mean for your company and the opportunities and risks, as well as challenges and tasks so that you have the necessary initial orientation.
Tip 3: Let neutral experts moderate strategy workshops.
In an environment as diffuse and rapidly changing as the current one, decisions that take many influencing factors into account can usually not be made by consensus, because: Due to their biography and function in your organization, the participants of workshops, for example, assess the actual situation, the risks, and opportunities and thus also the possibilities for acting differently.
That is why conflicts are pre-programmed. There is a correspondingly high risk of getting lost in endless what-if discussions. Therefore, consider whether an external, neutral moderator should moderate the strategy development process or workshop – especially when tough decisions are on the agenda.
Tip 4: In meetings, make your colleagues/employees aware of the complexity of the decision-making situation.
For example, before a strategy workshop with the executives in your company, the participants in some examples,
• how complex the current decision-making situation is and
• that they must rely largely on assumptions in their strategy development.
Describe the worst case in a plastic way – not to frighten the participants, but to show them how big the "possibility room" is at the moment. Tell them that, because of the current situation, the strategy adopted can only be a provisional one, which will be regularly reviewed and, if necessary, modified.
Tip 5: Introduce realistic scenarios to your colleagues and have them debated.
Then, as your organization's leader, present the most realistic scenarios that you are waiting for, along with the assumptions on which they are based, and outline the need for action that results from them. Then discuss these scenarios and give your fellow contestants the opportunity to design alternative scenarios and strategies if they don't seem plausible to them.
Tip 6: Agree on one or two realistic scenarios and have them worked out.
Then, if possible, agree on what is likely to be the most realistic scenario. Try to create the most objective basis for decision-making – for example, by asking yourself together:
• What is the case for or against the scenarios?
• What assumptions and assumptions are based on the potential success of the various strategic options and options for action?
• What investments do they require to be realised? And:
• What are the opportunities and risks associated with this?
Be aware that even the most objective decision-making basis is based on assumptions. Have the most realistic scenarios (possibly in workgroups) worked out and derive possible action plans from them.
Tip 7: Actively assume your Leader role in the decision-making process.
Since strategic decisions often cannot be made by consensus in a diffuse environment, a person must at some point say, "This is how we do it..." or "We are marching in this direction, even if the risks A, B and C are associated with it". This is not only your job as a company leader, your employees also expect you to take the helm and set the course for you in crisis and conflict situations.
Tip 8: Make strategic decisions calmly and not hastily.
But because all eyes are on you, do not put yourself under too much decision-making pressure. Instead, for example, towards the end of strategy meetings, thank the participants for their support and then say, "I will tell you my decision by the middle of next week", because: when it comes to strategic decisions for the post-crisis period, no immediate decision is usually necessary. This was different immediately after the lockdown when it was often necessary to secure the liquidity of the company: In this acute situation, much had to be decided overnight. In the medium and long term strategic decisions, however, it is usually more expedient to wait a few days with the final decision, because A postpone opens up the opportunity for you and your colleagues to discuss the implications of the decision again with people who have a different view of the subject matter of the decision, and thus to discover possible (collective) "blind spots" in their opinion-forming and decision-making process.
9: Ask your gut feeling again before making a preliminary decision.
A postponed decision also allows you and your colleagues to reflect again on why you prefer certain decisions. This is particularly important in market upheaval situations. For example, ask yourself: What motives, hopes, lead me to my preference? What beliefs are behind this, which may no longer have relevance? Decision-makers are often unaware of this when things get hot in a workshop, for example. With a little time, however, they realize this. This often leads them to put their clear yes or no to certain options into perspective. Therefore, decisions with some time lag can often be made by consensus – which is important for their sustainability and implementation.
Tip 10: Review decisions regularly and don't stick to bad decisions.
As a team, after you have decided, revisit the assumptions on which your decisions are based – for example, how your market is developing. Then arrange appointments in which you can jointly check to what extent
• Your assumptions were correct and
• the actions you initiate are effective.
This also makes it easier for those who prefer other solutions to come to terms with the decisions, because they know that if they turn out to be wrong, they will either be thrown overboard or re-adjusted.