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If the challenges for business organisations were complex before the Covid-19 pandemic, then it has certainly become much more so since. Finding the signal in the noise is not easy, but all-important. In times like this, we can easily be like a rabbit caught in the headlights. In the face of so many pressures and moving variables, what or who should guide our thinking? What is the best strategy to follow? The research that was done by Deloitte’s Jennifer Veenstra and Timothy Murphy tell an important story: it can make all the difference if one would resist the compulsion to anxiously think about the negative impact of the pandemic on profit and set targets, and step into the shoes of one’s customers. What do they see beyond the business service and products they receive? What ‘buys’ their loyalty?  

The best strategy is to first revisit your purpose. What is the value underpinning the purpose? Is it clear to all stakeholders? Is it what the business wants to be known for?

There will always be time pressures. We don’t need a clock so much as we need a compass – knowing true north. 

Business’s response to the pandemic will reflect the deeper drivers of the organisation. It will create positive, neutral or negative brand awareness. The named research found that the following actions created positive customer responses including purchase behaviour: 

  • Increased measures to protect the health and wellness of its employees
  • Donate products or services to a Covid-19 community support initiative
  • Significantly decreased or suspended executive salaries
  • Provided free access to product/services
  • Adjusted contract terms or pricing to better accommodate consumers during the pandemic

Author: Dr Gerhard van Rensburg

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