Follow the Money Part Two

DI Insights


Resurgence Requires Resilience

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It’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of the great COVID case surges, especially since a new, more transmissible strain has recently made landfall in the U.S. Since we’re distributing vaccines more slowly than the targeted rate, failing to control the spread, and collectively losing patience with lockdown, it’s only a matter of weeks before we reach the sharp bend in the exponential curve.

In some ways, the next wave will be like March all over again — many hospitals filled beyond capacity, spotty local ordinances and control measures, and possible school and workplace closures. The media narrative is sure to be divided along political lines regarding the severity, causes, and social implications of such developments. Depending on the seriousness of public policy response and media attention, these closures could lead to financial panic or civil unrest. They may require another phase of financial interventions from the Federal Reserve, creating a further swell of the Fed’s balance sheet and an increasingly brittle economy. The already-shaky employment rate is not likely to hold steady.

What can companies do to stay resilient amid this uncertainty?  A few important measures: 

  • Retain existing talent. Recruitment is expensive, and commitment is priceless. Those who have weathered the storm with you will be the strongest partners going forward.
  • Retain cash where possible. Those with ample cash reserves were safer in 2020 than their highly leveraged peers.
  • Demonstrate practices of fairness, sustainability, and transparency. These trust-building commitments have become key differentiators for business success amid upheaval.
  • Devote more attention to insight, foresight, and communication — and less to the tyranny of the urgent. Organizations that communicate skillfully and often are better at course correction and relevance realization, which changes what’s really urgent.

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