Leadership and Management in Crisis Situation

Strategy tool

Onni Matti Manninen

Many companies’ managements have faced difficult challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. This text provides brief instructions and guidelines for management to avoid organizations being drifted through a crisis. These three steps might help you to adapt proactive and flexible management into your organization:

A) Organize a temporary and (if necessary) virtual group for crisis management and guidance

  • In a crisis, there is enough work for even a large group.
  • Launch a department, authorizations, procedures, tools and meeting/reporting schedule

B) Create a plan to survive the crisis and categorize it into different entities, for example:

  • Financial survival operations
  • Operational activities’ survival operations
  • Organizational changes (i.e. in structure & systems)

When you have categorized the main entities, you can dig into deeper details and actions. Give each action a responsible person(s) and ask them to create scheduled action plans. Below you can find some examples of sub-actions and KPIs that responsible people should create short-term action plans:

1. Financial survival operations (KPI: the amount of cash)
1.1. Arranging contracts and their obligations
1.2. Arranging debts and loans (KPI: lengthening of due dates, payment terms)
1.3. Updating FCF and sales estimations
1.4. Fund-raising: Banks/public organizations/investors (KPI: gained financial resources)

2. Operational activities’ survival operations
2.1. Arranging working times through negotiations with personnel
2.2. Layoffs’ negotiations and execution
2.3. Accelerated co-operation negotiations
2.4. Logistical re-arrangements
2.5. Collaboration and active communication with customers

3. Organizational changes
3.1. New digital communication, supply and marketing methods
3.2. Scaling the operations
3.3. Arranging subcontractors’ operations
3.4. Reorienting sales and marketing

C) Monitor, analyze and react on situations in a tight schedule. Together with the management and the personnel, go through the plans and guide responsible people. Ask the responsible people to provide updates and comments on the situation before meetings and highlight the critical aspects that need special attention. In the meetings, provide a real-time and realistic overview of the situation as possible:

  • Go through the situation and subjects together. Focus on the subjects that require critical actions.
  • Agree, document and name a responsible person for each new action
  • Remember to enjoy and celebrate every achievement since they shouldn’t be taken into granted in a crisis.
  • Maintain balance and focus. Prioritize and if necessary, delete aspects that don’t have the desired outcome.

Co-operation and toughness are the fundamental elements of successful crisis management. If you are willing to have a conversation about your current strategic situation or utilizing strategy tools, feel free to contact us anytime!

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