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VER.17, 2020


ThePage, together with Smart Holding, in a series of Smart Talking business podcasts, looked at how the coronary crisis and possibly the ensuing global recession will affect companies' strategic planning. How to manage your plans now and what remains important for business despite the crisis, read the material and listen to podcasts.

Discussion participants: Helena Savruk, Deputy Dean of kmbs, Head of the Strategic Architect School Program, and Ruslan Rudnytsky, Strategy Director of Smart Holding.

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The crisis has fundamentally changed many things. Business is now more dynamic. Customer preferences and sales practices have changed.

The strategy should be reviewed regularly. Now is the time to adjust where the company is going and what it will be like in 3-5 years. The main thing is the vision of mission and values. This is the only thing that will remain unchanged. The rest of the companies' strategies can be changed.

Practical tips for businesses. The first is to take care of the team and strengthen it. The second is to re-analyze the business model on what and how to make money now. The third is to analyze the behavior of supply chain partners and decide who to leave and who to replace.

From the point of view of projects and at the enterprise level, the current year can be characterized as a year of crisis management.

The fall of shares of technology companies in international financial markets, according to experts, is not a sign of the beginning of the crisis.

Here are the brightest quotes from the discussion :.




"This virus has launched a fundamental radical change in the behavior of any consumer, any business in any market. This applies to both B2C and B2B. These radical changes are an absolute point of no return when customers do not return to their behavior, the benefits that were before the crisis. That is why it is very important to feel it. Customers have changed radically in what, how and where they want to buy, how they get access to information. This must be provided for in business models and strategic planning. The speed of decision-making and approaches to changing the business model have changed a lot. This is an incredible dynamic that has always been present in the world, but now it has increased many times over. "



"In terms of the company's results, I think we need to strategically understand where the business is heading, what is the core of the company. In these circumstances, it is incredibly important to strengthen it. But since we can't predict how our customers will change, here's what will be added. We took a very strange zoom-out, zoom-in approach. It is necessary to adjust where the company is moving, what it will be in 3-5 years. This is an important trick. Then all short-term daily decisions will have a certain vector where to move. "



“The first circle is always related businesses, which can be based on existing competencies, where the company will do its job exactly, because it is already in the core of the company. This is one approach. The next approach I always use is to look closely at my partners. If the company works or is able to work in ecosystems, it is possible to strengthen each other together with partners (ecosystem players), to find absolutely new niches at the intersection of these connections and opportunities. Ecosystem partners can, in particular, bring to completely different geographic markets, as well as products that can be quickly created together.



"I am not in favor of a crisis, and then an even bigger crisis. In fact, financial flows and profits go from one type of business to another. Today, many businesses are growing at a frantic pace. And now they have a problem: to recruit teams, not to lose the culture and quality of processes. In terms of strategic management, I think little will change. Of course, we need to start from the core of the company, the internal and external context, the decision-making system and where trends are moving. "




"Crises occur in the world economy every 4-5 years. By crisis we mean that it is hardly possible to predict with the help of any statistical methods. It is difficult to predict specific events that may occur. I remember meeting in December and discussing what might happen next year as the world looks at 2020. At the time, all analysts agreed that there was nothing on the horizon that could significantly affect the world economy in 2020. And in January we saw a very severe fall. America fell 35% and then recovered to historically high levels a quarter ago and has even surpassed them. However, the current crisis has consequences for the global supply chain, and what we see now is unprecedented in history. In recent centuries, there has been no impact of such a scale on international trade. "



"I have been working with strategic planning for a long time. But I can definitely say that strategic planning is an oxymoron. The future is unknown, it is difficult to plan. But something needs to be done about it. The main thing here is the vision, mission and values, ie the fundamental directions of the company. And in such a changing environment, these things are difficult to quickly reformulate. This is a titanic process. Everyone wants to see and read a clear and easy strategy. But the devil is always in the details. Therefore, a lot needs to be done to come up with clear wording in reasonable periods of time. This is a kind of balance. People need to understand the company's priorities, how decisions are made, what the values are. And then it gets a little easier and the company becomes more resilient to crises. "



"There are businesses that do not need to make quick decisions, they do not need thorough fundamental decisions that require a series of discussions, the development of consensus. There are businesses, such as venture projects, in which the speed of decision-making, approval and financing of a single project takes several hours. People come, and the deal is made in a few hours. Depending on the business model, the requirements for decision-making differ. Of course, what is happening now does not require other competencies - business leaders are expected to be taught why they have never been taught. And everyone learns together. Here, the level of transparency of communication is important so that people do not worry: we do not know what to do, but we are making efforts, and so far we have come to such decisions. Then people are more comfortable. "



"Last year, we paid a lot of attention to IT strategy. We started developing Microsoft Office with new applications across the group. And so it turned out that they started using Teams before the crisis. Now Teams is a very convenient tool. We do not use Zoom. Teams hold both board meetings and meetings, and project working groups meet. In my opinion, this is a very handy tool. If we talk about the world, then everyone is in Zoom. Zoom held 10 million meetings a day in December, and 200 million meetings a day in April or May. Within the company we use Microsoft Teams. If you need to listen to some seminars or take part in any conferences held online, there are both Google and Zoom tools.



"The US economy is already at a stage of long-term economic growth. It is unclear when it will end. Naturally, bubbles are inflated there, and sooner or later the bubbles burst. What happened last week (the fall of shares of the largest technology companies in the United States), in fact, a minor correction. How will all this unfold next? For example, Tesla, which reached 2.2 thousand dollars per share, and now where it is ... Sooner or later, such long stages of growth end in correction. The question of whether this will move into a bearish trend, more medium-term or long-term, is already a topic for economists. There are no predictors yet. In my opinion, we need to look at a topic related to the likelihood of a global credit crisis. I repeat, we are now in a situation of uncertainty. And the situation of uncertainty suggests that something happened that was not previously predicted. We are in the process of distributing normal results in the probability tails. Extreme scenarios - when you need to be prepared for a certain continuation of further negative events. Companies must have certain reserves, some stabilization funds and plans in case of such negative events, which is not usually done. "

Watch the video

Listen to audio podcasts in full format:



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Alexander Savruk - Candidate of Economic Sciences, Dean of kmbs. He specializes in strategic management, business philosophy, change management. He is also a member of the Academic Council and Rectorate of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the Ukrainian Association of Management Consultants and has worked as an advisor to the Minister of Economy on microeconomic issues. Partner "Mohyla Strategic Agency" - Action Tank.

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