Strategic Responses to Crisis

Strategic Responses to Crisis

Strategic Responses to Crisis

Saturday, April, 4, 2020  by Matthias Wenzel, Sarah Stanske, and Marvin Lieberman

Strategic Responses to Crisis

Saturday, April, 4, 2020  by Matthias Wenzel, Sarah Stanske, and Marvin Lieberman

Currently the pandemic crisis is affecting the lives of people and organizations around the world. As the coronavirus continues to spread, more and more governments are implementing strong measures to save people’s lives, such as the prohibition of events, lockdowns, and shutdowns. These measures contribute to slowing down the spread of the coronavirus in order to avoid lethal capacity overloads of national healthcare systems. At the same time, they threaten the survival of firms across all sectors and industries at a global scale—with potentially devastating individual, societal, and economic outcomes, such as massive job losses and social precarity. Therefore, the corona crisis raises important questions about how firms can respond effectively to crises such as the current pandemic.

In this Virtual Special Issue, we gather and discuss key articles published in the journals of the Strategic Management Society (SMS) that shed light on how firms respond to crisis. Our overview focuses on 13 articles that substantially inform our understanding of this issue.

Based on our overview, we identity four strategic responses to crisis: retrenchment, persevering, innovating, and exit. Retrenchment refers to cost-cutting measures that potentially reduce the scope of a firm’s business activities. Persevering relates to the preservation of the status quo of a firm’s business activities in times of crisis, e.g., through debt financing and the consumption of available slack resources. Innovating refers to conducting strategic renewal in response to crisis. Exit refers to the deliberate discontinuation of a firm’s business activities.

This virtual special issue extends understanding of strategic responses to crisis for both strategy scholars and practitioners. The main contribution of this Virtual Special Issue to strategy research is to make sense of the burgeoning work on strategic responses to crisis by developing a taxonomy, one that surfaces “time horizon” as an important dimension when considering the value of such responses. This taxonomy opens up promising directions for future research, especially on the temporal dynamics of responding to crisis in time as well as shifts between strategic responses to crisis over time.

For managers, this Virtual Special Issue raises awareness of the variety of potential responses that managers have available. It also raises doubts concerning the effectiveness of retrenchment as a common but rarely effective strategic response, especially when crises last longer. Importantly, this Virtual Special Issue also includes exit as a strategic response to crisis. As this virtual special issue highlights, an exit may not be the end of the road, as often assumed, but the starting point of a new venture, one that is able to do justice to the changed business conditions that the crisis has created.

Read more papers included in the Virtual Special Issue

Article Featured from the SMS Blog

Salute to Health Care Providers

Salute to Health Care Providers

A Salute to Health Care Providers 

Friday, April 3, 2020

A Salute to Health Care Providers

Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear Health Care Providers,

Thank you.

Of all the words I could think of to start this letter to you, those had to be the first. Yet those words seem so pale and ordinary, weak words to express appreciation for strong deeds. Like many of the pioneering doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and others in the healthcare field before you, you have a long history of striving to dramatically improve the care of sick patients. It’s not different today; it’s no different in your case.

We know that your job goes beyond a single duty. You not only continuously care for those of us who are sick, injured, disabled, or dying, but you take on the responsibility of encouraging good health among families and communities, even when people close their ears to your sound advice. We know you are also busily involved in health care research, management, policy deliberations, and patient advocacy. It’s a full plate. Yet you’re not done there. Along with your job, you also juggle family life and higher education schooling. It’s truly impressive and not for the weak-willed.

But now the crisis has struck, and you are being asked to add even more to your plate. You are our first defense and our frontline–the place only the bravest dared to fight–in the battle against COVID-19. You are asked to go up against an unseen enemy, even asked to do so without adequate protection and amidst dwindling supplies. You’ve already made so many sacrifices, and yet you are being asked to make more, even at risk to your health, at the risk of losing sleep and rest, at the cost of being with your families.

As a Deputy Chair of the Department of Management at The George Washington School of Business and Executive Director of ICSB, I have always stressed the importance of cultivating empathy and humanity—a human touch when it comes to dealing with others—but you already had it. It’s why you are a healthcare provider in the first place. It’s your vocation and your passion. You carry that empathy and humanity through your exhaustion, under often difficult circumstances, and somehow find the emotional strength to comfort the sick, the dying, and their loved ones. How can anyone call all this less than heroic?

So, to all the brave health care providers—women and men—the moms, the dads, the sons, the daughters, the heroes, the fighters, the leaders, for your sacrifices. We can only end this letter with the sincerest and most grateful, thank you!

We ask all the ICSB and GW Family to do a Local Salute to all on the front lines of the coronavirus fight every evening by applauding them from your balconies or patios.

 Please check what time it is conducted in your Neighborhood. If not, please start it!

Article written by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
ICSB Executive Director
Deputy Chair of Department of Management at George Washington University School of Business

S. Korea After Corona

S. Korea After Corona

S. Korea After Corona

Thursday, April, 2, 2020 Written by Dr. KiChan Kim and Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

S. Korea After Corona

Thursday, April, 2, 2020 Written by Dr. KiChan Kim and Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

As the global community looks to South Korea to guide their nations, we wonder what sets the Korean experience apart from the rest of the world. Korea’s involvement and participation in finding their nation’s ‘new normal’ is derived from a balance between the scientific and humane efforts needed to survive and ultimately thrive during this unparalleled time.

South Korea has found such success in escaping their ‘corona blues’ thanks to a widespread transition from working, learning, and governing offline to online. Korea, itself, might often be thought of as a technological haven; however, much of their documentation and social interactions happen in a more traditional sense, offline. Business contracts are signed face-to-face, students receive lectures in lecture halls next to their peers, and they listen to their professor. For quite a while, there has been an extreme juxtaposition between the traditional and new-age Korea, which had caused a great rift in the society itself. In finding a new normal, S. Korea will be able to both increase their people’s quality of life, in addition to their role in guiding the rest of the world in understanding how to manage a balance between off- and on-line life.

In seeking an understanding of how and why S. Korea has managed to find their new normal so efficiently and implement it so effectively; we can imagine a couple of possible explanations. Korea is presented with three challenges, followed by an opportunity. Within contaminated nations, there is infection control, mental depression, and economic depression. Infection control presents itself mostly in the physical infection, physical distancing, washing of hands, wearing masks, which conjure feelings of fear — next, mental depression, which has presented itself as loneliness, fear, worry, and stress. Lastly, economic depression is seen as work closures, school closures, plunges in stock prices, and ultimately unemployment. Despite the negativity that these challenges hold, however, we are also presented with an opportunity. Examples of online transitions can be found in working from home, E-health, online shopping, online courses, and ordering groceries online. The fact that everything is changing and moving to online platforms has created a new normal in Korea.

In describing this new normal as normalcy that has nothing to do with the old normal, South Korea places itself apart from other countries. Hope, founded in the humane approach of entrepreneurship, has been at the centerfold of their innovation. A type of hope that works to evolve with the world, instead of working to maintain society until the effects of COVID-19 have passed. Therefore, it is this balance between medicine and hope that guides S. Korea’s actions. Corona is “a wake-up call for humanity.” The scientific message of social distancing and staying home is insufficient for a community. The loneliness of work and school closures and the isolation of social distancing can lead to mental depression, meaning that the scientific approach to navigating the coronavirus is not enough for humans. We need connection, and it is this fundamental empathetic need that has ultimately driven the creation of the new online normal.

Humane affection towards others, seen today as staying home, campaigns to provide food for the elderly, and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, is an innate part of the human experience and has guided the formation of Korea’s new normal. Technology has to be used to support the humanity of others so that we can stay home and physical distance while staying connected socially. Coronavirus is our new reality, and S. Korea has done what many countries have been unable to do: accept this new reality. By admitting surrender through acceptance, we can then understand what our community needs to continue and progress. Currently, we know that we need to keep a distance from one another. Science tells us this. We also know that human survival comes from a place of empathy and that it was and is only through collaboration and cooperation that civilized societies have and continue to survive during and after moments of crisis. In light of COVID-19, we must understand that by speaking of the current physical health crisis, we mean those people who are contaminated and dying around the world. However, for the living, we are having a momentary mental health crisis. After being pushed into isolation, we are experiencing extreme loneliness and disconnect, which proves to us that the empathetic connection felt when conversing with another is essential to the human condition.

Then, once a nation has fully accepted their new realities, can they move to their new normal. South Korea has been the global example of early and widespread testing with its groundbreaking “drive-through’ inspection system. Other nations have been unable to repeat this example because they have refused to admit that the coronavirus is their nation’s new reality. We can not just buckle down and hold out until the end of contamination and confinement because we will never reach the desired outcome if we are unable to enter this place of acceptance. In S. Korea, produce, toilet paper, and hygienic masks are available to the public. Grocery stores are full, and their inhabitants have been supplied with an application to view where masks are available in the neighborhood.

Finally, it is important to note that although now people are sick, soon they will be hungry. By this statement, we are pointing to the long-term effects of COVID-19. Currently, S. Korea has managed to continue administering over 350,000 checkups (March 24). Their low mortality rate is a result of their widespread testing, in addition to quick results update. However, even South Korea needs to start thinking about the economic depression that has ensued from the pandemic. An example of a campaign to stimulate the economy is through tax breaks for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This respect, shown in the form of humane entrepreneurship, results from the innovation founded in technology-promoted campaigns.

The shift to the new normal is enormous; however, the normalcy that follows will be one that allows our governments, entrepreneurs, and citizens to flourish in a way that has yet to be seen before on a global scale. The fate of the world depends on the acceptance of reality and the formation of a new normal that will be founded at the intersection of science and empathy and will benefit the quality of life for everyone.

Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19

Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19

Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19

Wednesday, April, 1, 2020, By Bill Gates

Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19

Wednesday, April, 1, 2020, By Bill Gates

There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus. But the window for making important decisions hasn’t closed. The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact on how soon case numbers start to go down, how long the economy remains shut down and how many Americans will have to bury a loved one because of covid-19.

Through my work with the Gates Foundation, I’ve spoken with experts and leaders in Washington and across the country. It’s become clear to me that we must take three steps.

First, we need a consistent nationwide approach to shutting down. Despite urging from public health experts, some states and counties haven’t shut down completely. In some states, beaches are still open; in others, restaurants still serve sit-down meals.

This is a recipe for disaster. Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus. The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere. Until the case numbers start to go down across America — which could take 10 weeks or more — no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown. Any confusion about this point will only extend the economic pain, raise the odds that the virus will return, and cause more deaths.

Second, the federal government needs to step up on testing. Far more tests should be made available. We should also aggregate the results so we can quickly identify potential volunteers for clinical trials and know with confidence when it’s time to return to normal. There are good examples to follow: New York state recently expanded its capacity to up to more than 20,000 tests per day.

 

There’s also been some progress on more efficient testing methods, such as the self-swab developed by the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network, which allows patients to take a sample themselves without possibly exposing a health worker. I hope this and other innovations in testing are scaled up across the country soon.

Even so, demand for tests will probably exceed the supply for some time, and right now, there’s little rhyme or reason to who gets the few that are available. As a result, we don’t have a good handle on how many cases there are or where the virus is likely headed next, and it will be hard to know if it rebounds later. And because of the backlog of samples, it can take seven days for results to arrive when we need them within 24 hours.

This is why the country needs clear priorities for who is tested. First on the list should be people in essential roles such as health-care workers and first responders, followed by highly symptomatic people who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill and those who are likely to have been exposed.

The same goes for masks and ventilators. Forcing 50 governors to compete for lifesaving equipment — and hospitals to pay exorbitant prices for it — only makes matters worse.

Finally, we need a data-based approach to developing treatments and a vaccine. Scientists are working full speed on both; in the meantime, leaders can help by not stoking rumors or panic buying. Long before the drug hydroxychloroquine was approved as an emergency treatment for covid-19, people started hoarding it, making it hard to find for lupus patients who need it to survive.

We should stick with the process that works: Run rapid trials involving various candidates and inform the public when the results are in. Once we have a safe and effective treatment, we’ll need to ensure that the first doses go to the people who need them most.

To bring the disease to an end, we’ll need a safe and effective vaccine. If we do everything right, we could have one in less than 18 months — about the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed. But creating a vaccine is only half the battle. To protect Americans and people around the world, we’ll need to manufacture billions of doses. (Without a vaccine, developing countries are at even greater risk than wealthy ones, because it’s even harder for them to do physical distancing and shutdowns.)

We can start now by building the facilities where these vaccines will be made. Because many of the top candidates are made using unique equipment, we’ll have to build facilities for each of them, knowing that some won’t get used. Private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can. It’s a great sign that the administration made deals this week with at least two companies to prepare for vaccine manufacturing. I hope more deals will follow.

In 2015, I urged world leaders in a TED talk to prepare for a pandemic the same way they prepare for war — by running simulations to find the cracks in the system. As we’ve seen this year, we have a long way to go. But I still believe that if we make the right decisions now, informed by science, data and the experience of medical professionals, we can save lives and get the country back to work.

Article written by Bill Gates and published on the Washington Post

STRATEGIC EXECUTION: An Integrated Strategic Planning and Execution workbook to maximize RESULTS.

STRATEGIC EXECUTION: An Integrated Strategic Planning and Execution workbook to maximize RESULTS.

STRATEGIC EXECUTION: An Integrated Strategic Planning and Execution workbook to maximize RESULTS.

Tuesday, March, 31, 2020 by Eduardo M Arroyo

STRATEGIC EXECUTION: An Integrated Strategic Planning and Execution workbook to maximize RESULTS.

Tuesday, March, 31, 2020 by Eduardo M Arroyo

Introduction to this initial release:

I wrote this workbook on the nights following hurricane María, September 21,2017.A real “Midnight Engineered Design” (honoring the name I gave to my sons’ first entrepreneurship venture). This process is an almost exact copy of what I do as a BASE STRUCTURE for a Strategic Planning Process that has evolved during over 200 applications in 28 years of practice(mentioning but not expanding on Blue OceanShift specifics that I have used in special opportunities for the last 12 years).

I had planned in my head to release it as a hard copy workbook late in 2020, but having “smelled”for several days the lockdown that we are now just starting, I decided to let it out to a limited number of friends that would value, read it during this “down time”and use it(it is a WORKBOOK!), and at the same time provide feedback on ways to improve it… and on ERRORS that are likely present at this very early DRAFT! Please do so and send your comments to eduardo@e-arroyo.com. Now register free at www.stratexec.net, to receive updates and follow us on facebook www.facebook.com/StratExec/ to share with other users.

If you have any positive reactions, please also send them to me with permission to use it in the back-cover or anywhere else on the next release.

Remember, reading a workbook does NOT make much sense UNLESS you do the work. Some friends have requested it for doing their personal (or family) strategic plan. Great idea. Have fun. STRATEGIZE –DIFFERENTIATE –EXECUTE and SUCCEED!

Some organizational situations can be VERY COMPLEX. If you need ANY support, I can provide help through a phone consultation for a minimal fee, or better yet a face to face session.Email eduardo@e-arroyo.comor call me at (787)529-0454 for information or direct access.This action pays for itself many times so do not hesitate to ask for help.

Pleased to share with you my love of STRATEGY! My love to all!

May you live long and prosper and make all your dreams a reality!

Eduardo

March 24, 2020

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