From BitOoda’s CEO: Crisis Management — Strategies to Survive and Thrive
In my latest edition of “From BitOoda’s CEO,” I would like to offer a piece on strategic advisory and risk management during a global crisis. COVID-19 could be one of the greatest health and economic crises we will encounter in our lifetimes. Firms must take decisive measures now to successfully manage their operations through what we believe will be a prolonged and sustained period of volatility. I have five main insights to offer in this situation:
1. Encourage all our clients to perform a WOW (Worst of the Worst) analysis: recognize the most severe projected outcomes and identify contingency plans to mitigate their impact. Remember the Japanese saying, “I would rather be a samurai in a garden than a gardener in a battleground.”
2. Life and markets are anything but rational. Albert Einstein said, “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” Embrace the chaos and uncertainty we live in, and have conviction to act. Do NOT hesitate.
3. When it comes to your firm’s runway and burn, work under the assumption that funding and access to additional capital is not an option for the next 12 months. If it becomes apparent you are going to face a liquidity event, cut expenses immediately and fully commit to generating revenue. I often tell my team “every seat must generate revenue in start-up land.” Very rarely do I hear analysts discuss examining the CEO’s personal burn, but I think looking at those numbers is just as important as looking at your corporate burn. You also need personal runway for 12 months. If cuts need to be made on the corporate level, the CEO’s salary gets taken to zero first, or you are not a CEO.
4. Firms must stay ahead of this and must conduct scenario-based exercises, develop plans that incorporate redundancy into their processes, ensure repetition in training and procedures, and maintain focused calm in decision making.
5. At BitOoda, we often say the most important thing in situations like this is leadership, not management. And my view is that leaders are defined in a crisis, particularly with a management team that inspires confidence among the team. The brilliant British military strategist BH Liddell Hart said, “Helplessness induces hopelessness, and loss of hope rather than loss of life is what decides the issues of war.” I think one can apply what Hart said to business today by ensuring colleagues and employees do not lose hope.
6. With great uncertainty comes opportunity. Here at BitOoda we’ve built tools to help businesses navigate these times, stress test their assumptions, and identify opportunities to outmaneuver the competition. We believe in relentless focus on the prize.
We are here to help you:
— Shore up your defense and “build in the trough,” positioning you for outsized gains when normalcy returns.
— Plan a strong offense, including aggressive moves to capture talent, seize market share (it only moves in two directions — up and down!), or acquire businesses in distressed situations.
— Optimize your internal management strategies.
— Develop revenue-driven spend plans.
— Design cost-synergy strategies post-transaction to be better than the sum of the parts.
After performing a stress test and realizing you are in the incredibly enviable position that you have sufficient capital to survive, I would immediately look to “throw downfield” — confidence in your offense rests upon an unshakeable belief in your defense! Stay focused and unified as a team. Outwork, outhustle and outflank the competition in partnership with BitOoda — let the other guy start putting his resume together. As always, we at BitOoda stand ready to help clients not only survive this crisis, but thrive by seizing opportunities and planning effectively.
From the BitOoda Team most importantly stay healthy and safe!!