Over the past few weeks we’ve seen many in the business community across the world demonstrate unprecedented leadership, commitment and compassion to their colleagues, customers, friends, and families.
But the crisis still runs very deep. Its severity was underlined this weekend when OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría called for massive, visionary and coordinated action to defeat the health, economic, and social threats of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
However, the problem we face also has multiple and complex dimensions.
This week, a senior business leader I have worked with for many years told me: “the company I work for has lost over 60 percent of the market value built up over 120 years, tens of millions of people will lose their jobs where I live, and millions will lose loved ones to a premature death.”
He then asked me a critical question: “While this is playing out, how does one keep a keen eye on other, equally important issues over the medium and long term, like gross inequality and climate change?”
This is the true challenge. The immediate crisis we now find ourselves in must not overshadow the need for transformational change towards low-carbon, inclusive growth. Indeed, we must recognise the unique opportunity this crisis now presents for business to work across sectors, up and down supply chains, across teams and geographical divides, to reinvent growth.
So, at Xynteo, we’re focusing on the following activities:
First, we're doing everything we can to both support our partners' efforts to secure people’s basic needs for health, work and community. Whether it be a major bank helping small business to survive, a communications leader helping the disadvantaged to stay connected or a global retailer providing affordable housing options, we are inspired by their true leadership, avoiding further dangerous drift between the few and many and compromising our medium-term future.
Second, it will take some time to re-set strategy for a new reality. There is no doubt we will face a “new normal” when the crisis has passed - too much has already changed for it to be otherwise. We already see tremendous leadership and resolve in advancing future-fit strategies for a new landscape. The opportunity now is to help our partners (and their customers) shape that new future, rather than sit back and let it shape them.
Finally, we’re continuing - through digital tools - to create a new generation of solutions that lay the foundations for a new kind of growth, both in Europe and in India. Through collaborative innovation, across industries, sectors and disciplines, we’re accelerating our work to drive new solutions at the intersection of commercial interest and societal need, including on decarbonising hard-to-abate industries such as transport, cement and steel.
By doing these things well and joining up our thinking across all three (from leadership to strategy and solutions), we give ourselves every opportunity to reinvent growth and conjure up a silver lining to this otherwise dark moment. Together.
We look forward to staying touch, as we find our way forward though these remarkable times. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing tools and frameworks for thinking through future strategic possibilities.