The new 5 forces shaping strategy in a COVID world

Strategy dialogues with Kanvic Consulting

  • Video   |
  • 12 February, 2021

Alex:

Hello and welcome to Kanvic Consulting's strategy dialogues on navigating the Coronavirus crisis. 

I am very pleased to be in conversation with Deepak Sharma, co-founder and director of strategy at Kanvic Consulting. 

Deepak:

Hello Alex. Pleasure speaking with you again. 

Alex:

In our earlier sessions, Deepak you talked about the strategic implications of the Coronavirus pandemic for Indian business owners and CEOs. 

While we have understood a lot more about the virus over the course of this year and have learnt to live with it to some extent, the health and economic environment still remains shrouded in uncertainty. 

Amidst this, how do businesses go about developing their strategy for the next year and beyond? 

Deepak

I think it's important to realise that it's not over yet. Given the dynamic situation we are in, businesses would do well to have an adaptive strategy while thinking for the next year and beyond. 

There are still a number of unknowns. For example, on the health aspect, we seem to be close to achieving success in vaccine development with two companies announcing 90%+ success in their late stage trials, a number of questions on the efficacy, logistics and longevity still remain. 

Similarly, on the economic recovery we see demand returning on the back of the festival season but there are underlying risks because of inflation, continued stress on businesses and a possibility of a second wave in India. 

Alex:

That makes sense. In Europe we are in the midst of the second wave with shutdowns happening everywhere. 

So what are the implications for business owners?

Deepak:

In placid times, leaders make strategic choices by looking into their industry structure and better understanding competitive dynamics. 

In a post COVID world, analysis of industry structure remains valuable, however we need to complement this with an understanding of the unique macro-economic forces shaping business strategy 

Alex:

You recently published an article outlining the five forces shaping strategy in COVID times. Can you explain a little more about this?

Deepak:

Based on our ongoing research on strategic implications of the Coronavirus crisis, we have identified five new forces shaping strategy during the current crisis. 

These new forces are the progression of the virus and the steps toward its containment on one side and how the government and the businesses are responding to the crisis on the other side. [Show the exhibit on five forces in the final video]. and at the centre of all this is public sentiment.

Alex:

This is an interesting point you make about the new five forces, Deepak. Why have they become so important for decision makers now? 

Deepak:

The new five forces have become important for decision makers now because

One they allow you to see through the fog of uncertainty. Even after eight months into the crisis, we still do not know for sure how long will the crisis last? 

Second, they provide an early view of emerging opportunities and challenges - a key to have an adaptive strategy

and third they help in monitoring COVID induced behavioural changes to keep a tab on which changes stick and which ones go away.

Alex:

It sounds like companies need to start monitoring these shifts today to start building a clearer picture of the future. Can you give us a couple of concrete steps business leaders can take to incorporate this into their decision-making?

Deepak:

There a number of steps leaders can take. Three of them clearly stand out. 

First, leaders need to build a complete view of each force and its underlying drivers impacting their business.

Second, they must set up a mechanism to monitor the changes in the underlying drivers. 

and finally they should bring the most up-to-date picture to their strategy discussions to inform decision-making

Alex:

Thank you Deepak for these valuable insights on the new five forces shaping strategy during COVID, their implications for business, and the steps business leaders can take in response  - talk again soon.

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