Albu On Strategy

Strategic Thinking for a Post-Pandemic Era

It still seems hard to believe what the world, our country, our business community, and our families are going through during this pandemic. Never have any of us experienced anything of this magnitude in our lifetime and hopefully never will again. On the bright side, every crisis has an end and the light at the end of the tunnel will be there, hopefully soon. We know in our bones that the future will be different. How will your industry and company fair in the post-pandemic era?

Where does strategic thinking fit in today’s planning? In our opinion, the strategic choices you make today are more important than ever as we emerge from this crisis. There are two questions to considered as you think about the COVID-19 era:

  • How will your industry structure be reshaped by this crisis?
  • What strategic choices should you pursue so that your company emerges stronger than before the crisis?

After the 2007-08 great recession, a 2008 McKinsey article suggested that “a structural break in the economy is an opportunity in disguise.” In other words, never let a crisis go to waste. Turning attention to the short term is no doubt essential to survival as we work our way through this crisis. However, at some point soon leaders need to turn their attention to the future state. Leaders need to actively start to assess the external environmental forces at work today that will shape their industry structural ecosystem tomorrow. They need to think strategically about the “what” and “how” of a new normal that will help them survive and thrive. Here are some big picture questions to consider ensuring you have the right business model and capabilities for the post-pandemic era:

  1. How will industry dynamics change?
  2. Will old market patterns be pushed aside?
  3. Will customers require new or different ways to connect?
  4. What level of working remotely will be the new normal?
  5. How much faster will some industries grow while others struggle?
  6. What existing or new technologies will speed up disruption of your ecosystem?

Most likely the recovery from COVID-19 will not happen suddenly like a light switch, but rather slowly like a sun rise. In most economic recessions over the past 50 years, growth returned in 10 to 18 months. This pandemic driven downturn brings a new level of uncertainty so we should expect a longer growth recovery. While leaders need to focus on immediate challenges of stabilizing their businesses, it is also the opportunity to think strategically about the future state. This is time to develop new strategies to prepare your company to take advantage of the post pandemic new normal.

Please feel free to give us a call with your questions and comments about how strategic thinking can help you prepare for life beyond COVID-19. And we would welcome an opportunity to discuss how we can help you thrive in the post-pandemic era. Please share this blog with others as you see fit.


“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein, Author of How to Get Hold of Your Life

Posted in Leadership, Newsletter, Strategy Development, Strategy Management.