Three-Phase Framework to Create a Path Forward after COVID-19

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Newport, LLC

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Business Recovery after COVID-19 Depends on the Viability of your Recovery Plan

The COVID-19 Black Swan has landed and the entire world is in turmoil and seeking ways to move out of the turmoil, but there is no magic bullet much less a bankable timeline for recovery.

For the last few months business leaders have been trying to figure out what just happened and what’s going to happen next. It looks like the business world as well as our personal environment and culture is in disruption for the long-haul, and we need a plan.

The attached short video, produced by Lynn Lednicky of Newport LLC presents a 3-phase framework you can use to create the path forward for your business.

For the last few months, the economy has been in a Stabilize Phase – the first phase. In this phase, we have tried to assess the rapidly changing situation as best we can and then survive.

Now it is time to move to the second phase – Re-Start. So far we have had our eyes on the ground in front of us, trying to avoid potholes, but it is time to begin to look to the horizon, try to get our bearings, and plot a direction. We now see the outlines of both the health and economic policy responses to COVID-19. Armed with that information, we need to start thinking about how to move our business to some semblance of normal. This is the – Restart Phase.

There are still lots of questions. When is this going to happen? What are the rules for restart? How long will it take? Will we relapse?

Even without answers to these questions, we know the economy will begin to open in the next few weeks and we must be ready. And remember, we will be restarting in a “new normal”.

Social distancing was a phrase none of us had heard 3 months ago, and today it is the defining feature of our business for at least the rest of this year.

Finally, there is the third phase – the Building Phase. This is what we were trying to do before the Black Swan arrived. The goal hasn’t changed, but the environment, the rules, and the prevailing economic forces certainly have.

Phase 2 and 3 go together. While you are mapping your re-start plan, you need to begin to take a view on what the world will look like once you get through the Re-start Phase. You don’t have to know all the answers, but you need to pick a direction.

Where do we go from here? Use this three-phase framework to create your path forward. Move from Stabilize to the Restart Phase, assess your situation, get independent advice as you do this (we at Newport can help), and be prepared to be totally honest about where you are and what you can do. Remember, disruption brings opportunity as well as risk. As you create your path, aim toward the opportunity left by the COVID Black Swan.

Lynn Lednicky is a partner in the Houston Office of Newport LLC

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