Business leaders make decisions every day to address the constantly changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis. We took a snapshot of their response in the eye of the storm—to gauge what actions they’re taking, how they predict the current crisis will differ from the last recession, and what areas of their business will be fundamentally altered in the long run. Here’s what they said.
Preparedness and response to the downturn is mixed: Only half of C-level leaders say their organization monitors a set of internal and external indicators that initiates a recession plan. 1 in 4 say they haven’t needed to act on the downturn yet.
The speed at which this crisis emerged has created an extreme level of uncertainty. The most common primary concern in the C-suite? The unpredictable behavior of partners, employees, and clients in this environment.
Downturn Readiness & Impact
Remote working has reached a tipping point: The top priority for more than one-third is managing a remote workforce (ahead of cutting expenses). And 42% said the crisis will fundamentally alter their organization's approach to remote working in the long term.
Does your organization have a recession checklist—that is, a defined list of internal and external indicators that initiate a plan of action?
Have you mobilized a recession “plan of action”
at your organization, as of today?
because we don’t have a recession plan
because we don’t need to mobilize one yet
How do you expect the market crisis today
to differ from the market crisis of 2007-2008?
The impact will be deeper
(more difficult recovery)
The impact will be more acute
The impact will be more long-term
The impact will be minor
Top Priorities & Concerns
What is your organization’s top priority right now?
Effectively managing a remote workforce
Creating new offerings/products that matter to the market
Cutting labor expenses
Cutting other expenses
Managing volatile supply and demand for the next 3-6 months
Recalibrating supply chain due to global impacts
Of the following, what is your primary concern?
(e.g., materials, real estate, supplies)
The unpredictable behavior of partners, employees, and clients in this environment
Burning through cash reserves
Supply chain disruption
Having to lay off employees
Losing customers to competitors
My organization’s short-term survival (3-6 months)
My organization’s long-term survival (6 months+)
Looking at the next 3-5 months, which statement best reflects your organization’s primary focus in regard to maintaining corporate values vs. making the right business decisions?
We have to make many business decisions that are contrary to our corporate values
We have to make a few tough decisions that are contrary to our corporate values
Our business decisions are in line with our corporate values, despite the current landscape
How will the current market crisis fundamentally alter your organization over the long term (6 months+)?
It will most likely change our
Approach to remote work
Crisis management procedures
Supply chain risk/
About the poll
About the respondents
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West Monroe wanted to better understand the priorities and concerns among the C-suite to the market crisis that has emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 19-20, 2020, we surveyed 150 C-level executives at companies with a minimum of $250 million in annual revenue. West Monroe is a national business and technology consulting firm.
ABOUT THE POLL
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Consumer Packaged Goods/Retail
Energy & Utilities
Information Technology Services
Aerospace and Defense
Chief Executive Officer or President
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Information Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Less than $100 million
$100 million - $249 million
$250 million - $499 million
$500 million - $999 million
Unsure/ Cannot Discuss
$1 billion - $3 billion
More than $3 billion