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Here's how you can help keep the economy healthy according to former Director & Senior Partner in McKinsey

One of Norway's most powerful consultants, Tore Myrholt, answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the future of business, what companies should be focusing on how to keep the economy healthy.

31.03.2020

Tore Myrholt has been working in McKinsey since 1982 and has been one of their top leaders for decades. He has served clients in more than 20 countries and has been the counselor of many CEOs around the world. Tore is currently the Chairman of the Board at Antler.

A frequent speaker on the topics of leadership and change, Tore also often serves as a faculty member for internal and external leadership programs. Recently, he has focused on how to navigate in an increasingly disruptive and volatile world, and how digital, big data and advanced analytics increasingly shape solutions.

We went straight to the source to get real, honest answers from one of Norway's most powerful figures. Tore answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the future of business, what companies should be focusing on how to keep the economy healthy. Here's what he has to say:

Covid-19 has triggered a life and livelihood crisis. Humans need oxygen to breed and cash for basic livelihood and to safeguard business continuity. Both these vital needs are threatened by the virus. The virus attacks our capacity to breed, and society lock-down severely restricts our cash inflows. Stay safe and do everything you can to be cash positive (including receiving loans /grants, reducing/delaying rents and consumptions, etc.) are therefore two existential imperatives. But beyond these instinctive responses here are the three things every company should consider.

PSE: Protect, Stabilize and Engage

This is the no-regret actions all companies should take. All employees must be kept safe, and work practices must be reviewed so the business can continue operating while keeping staff safe. Supply chains must be analyzed to avoid business disruptions, and customers and stakeholders engaged to ensure we are transparent about change in operating and delivery performance caused by the virus.

Come together and be adaptive

In times of crisis, organizations, and culture grow stronger or they deteriorate. This is a rare opportunity to unite and align the people to fight adversity, be creative about how to adapt and find new learning opportunities to build a stronger company. New realities provide new opportunities - find them! Every company has a long list of development opportunities - focus on these opportunities and stay productive - even though they don’t provide immediate revenues - it makes you better prepared for the future. Staying connected is more important than ever.

Take a full-cycle perspective

It is tough just now. Significant revenues are lost, and people struggle to make ends meet. But we know that we soon will see a market rebound. Some things will rebound to normal - other things will rebound to a new normal. Prepare yourself for how you will take advantage of the rebounds. That will be the time where new winners will be appear - be sure it is your company!

We are too often taken by surprise by market downturns and upturns. There is no reason to be surprised by the next upturn. Prepare for it!

We must stand ready to resume normal life as soon as feasible, and keep these few difficult months in perspective.

I believe the government has an important role in stimulating demand through expansive fiscal policies (government spending), but all of us will play an important role in keeping the economy healthy. First, we should be guided by hope and confidence, not fear and anxiety. We must stand ready to resume normal life as soon as feasible, and keep these few difficult months in perspective.

Productivity is still key

We will soon be back in the streets, and the world will never be unprepared for the next pandemics. It will largely be our collective attitude and behaviors that will define whether we will experience a V-shape, U-shape or L-shape recovery. Second, make sure we all stay as productive as possible in the current situation. Even working remotely or not working at all - make sure you do something that builds the company’s capabilities and your individual skills - at the very least read something interesting. Looking at the same Facebook site  6 times an hour does not help you grow!

Everything is going to be OK in the end

If it is not OK now, it is not the end. You may be in a difficult position, but it is to no fault of your own. There is no stigma surrounding the situation. It is OK to be worried. There are more people ready to support you and find a solution than you can imagine. But stay engaged - do not be withdrawn. It is better to reach out than to hide within. There will be good solutions - even if it will take some time to sort out the aftermath of the crises.

How is the corona-crisis affecting equality and diversity? Spend 2 minutes and get instant feedback on what others are saying. NOTE: Survey is in Norwegian.

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