This article was first published on April 17, 2020.
Editor's note: Oliver Wyman is monitoring the COVID events in real-time and we have compiled resources to help our clients and the industries they serve. Please continue to monitor the Oliver Wyman Coronavirus hub for updates.
The scope, speed, depth, and indeterminate timing of the current economic free-fall, combined with the daunting personal and societal implications of the COVID pandemic, will be a defining crucible moment for most companies: many will not survive the crisis, some will emerge severely weakened, and those that weather the storm will stand as beacons on the battered landscape of the economy (a few may even thrive). The crisis will test balance sheets and companies’ financial strength, push leadership into the spotlight, transform operations, and even reveal companies’ true values and moral compass. For companies that do survive, the crisis is likely to create unprecedented opportunities to challenge old paradigms, accelerate new ways of working, and outmaneuver competitors as whole industries are reshaped. So Boards of Directors must help their company weather the immediate crisis and inspire management to think broadly about strategy.
Our latest paper explores how boards can navigate the immediate crises and offers specific questions by area that management needs to stare down.
Specific questions by management area
About the authors
Rutger von Post is a Partner at Oliver Wyman focused on organizational strategy and effectiveness. He is an experienced practitioner working with clients to drive strategy development, activation and execution. Prior to joining Oliver Wyman, Rutger was a Partner at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), the strategy consulting arm of PwC. Rutger has authored several articles on organizational effectiveness and corporate culture, and how to improve business performance. He is a board member of the American Scandinavian Foundation.
Robert Pozen is currently a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was formerly President of Fidelity Investments and Executive Chairman of MFS Investment Management. He serves on several company boards, and is also on the Senior Advisory Board of Oliver Wyman.