For many, the toughest leadership test is now looming: how to bring a business back in an environment where a vaccine has yet to be found and economies are still reeling
By Kevin Sneader & Bob Sternfels
Chicago, IL (May 1, 2020) – The 1966 World Cup marked a low point for Brazilian soccer. Although the winner of the previous two tournaments, the team was eliminated in the first round, and its star player, Pelé, failed to perform. Fouled frequently and flagrantly, he threatened never to return to the World Cup. Many wondered if Brazil’s glory days were over. Four years later, however, Brazil won again, with such grace and style that the 1970 team is not only widely regarded as the best team ever to take the pitch but also as the most beautiful. And Pelé was named the player of the tournament.
Making this turnaround required innovation, in particular, the creation of a unique attacking style of soccer. It required building a cohesive team, even as most of the roster changed. And it required leadership, both in management and on the field. The result: by reimagining everything, Brazil came back stronger.
As businesses around the world consider how they can return from the torment inflicted by the coronavirus, Brazil’s journey from failure to triumph provides food for thought. In a previous article, McKinsey described five qualities that will be critical for business leaders to find their way to the next normal: resolve, resilience, return, reimagination, and reform. We noted that there would likely be overlap among these stages, and the order might differ, depending on the business, the sector, and the country.
In this article, we suggest that in order to come back stronger, companies should reimagine their business model as they return to full speed. The moment is not to be lost: those who step up their game will be better off and far more ready to confront the challenges—and opportunities—of the next normal than those who do not.
There are four strategic areas to focus on:
- Recovering revenue,
- Rebuilding operations,
- Rethinking the organization, and
- Accelerating the adoption of digital solutions.
For companies around the world, the qualities that brought Brazilian football to new heights in 1970—imagination, leadership, and on-the field execution—will be paramount as they consider how to navigate the post-COVID-19 environment. Business as usual will not be nearly enough: the game has changed too much. But by reimagining how they recover, operate, organize, and use technology, even as they return to work, companies can set the foundations for enduring success.
For more details on each of these four areas, read the full report on McKinsey’s website.
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SOURCE: McKinseyTags: coronavirus, Digital Innovation, Digital Insurance, epidemic, McKinsey, outlook / predictions, Transformation