What are the priorities for business leaders as lockdowns start to lift?
Lorri Lowe Partner Friisberg & Partners UK
Priority One is the well-being of the people in the business. There is talk in the UK of a balancing act between lives and livelihoods, but such talk is not coming from business, it comes almost entirely from politicians. Every company with whom we have had contact is doing what it can to ensure the safety and health of its people. The issues for CEOs are therefore more of engagement, reassurance and communication with their employees and customers – and clarity in such communications is of paramount importance.
Making existential decisions in a crisis (where government guidance is lacking, or even at best conflicting) places more responsibility on CEOs. They are not only ensuring safety-first steps towards a resumption of business, but also running huge ER & PR campaigns to make it known that they are. Financial support has been made readily available and quickly accessible, so the need to generate revenues is, and will remain for some time yet, subordinate to saving lives. Lifting lockdown will be a slow phased process and CEOs are planning accordingly.