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We are Covid CEOs

ceo and covid

We have gone through very difficult times and continue to go through them. The crisis is very different from the economic crises we know because we are also experiencing a social crisis! Regardless of who we are, how rich we are, how educated we are, we are all imprisoned in our homes and in front of our screens.

The transformations we have experienced in both our private and business lives during this period are incredible, and if these had been told to us in advance, we would probably have said "impossible", but it happened and we go through it every day. Fear has surrounded us, but we continue to stand and lead others.It is not easy, many things that have worked for so many years no longer work, most of what we know is garbage and we are forced to learn again. Of course, when it is necessary, both material and moral costs become much higher, and while some people overcome these costs lightly, others are crushed under it. It is not easy to lead in this period and to keep the ship afloat as if it were in calm waters during a storm.

Every day we have to re-understand the concepts we have been talking about for years, and the things we talked about until recently are ringing in our ears one by one: we must make cultural transformation, be agile, innovative, digitalize our business, etc. There was a lot of "chatter" like this, wasn't there? Now, we have come to the end of a period where we do not want to prioritize, where we are overwhelmed with daily operations instead of preparing for tomorrow, where we focus on costs rather than the quality of our employees, where we spend every day easily with the pressure of sales and profitability, and where we think everything is numbers!

Here is Covid CEO, here is the new world – we will either adapt or perish

Although the businesses we manage are generally divided into three on a sectoral basis during this period (those positively affected by Covid, those unaffected and those negatively affected), there are some basic topics that need to be focused on so that we can get through these days easily and prepare better for the future this time. Even though we know what these are, we have already realized that this transformation starts with ME and that first individuals and then teams must transform and businesses must adapt to developments. So, as Covid CEOs, on which issues should we abandon what we know and learn again?

We must review our market perspective; first the needs change, then the market changes and customers are in this market. These are existing and potential customers; especially in this period, we must protect what exists and gain what is potential. To understand the customer, we must first start by understanding the needs of the customers and prevent losing customers by seeing the changes early. It doesn't matter whether we do business B2C or B2B - needs are related to the people you do business with and everyone is in a difficult situation right now and we need to move forward with collective thinking to change old habits.

What we will notice about competent employees and young people; currently, the majority of white-collar employees spend their time in front of the screen and at home. Employees' working hours have changed dramatically – the question of whether we have become more productive or less productive is on everyone's mind. We must fully understand the importance of competent employees who know their job! There are also our young people, whom we often do not choose to listen to. Now is the time to listen to them and find precise actions by blending their perspective with our experiences. As a matter of fact, if crisis and opportunity are siblings, we should think that the number of opportunities is not small at the moment.

Cash flow is our most important agenda; we are in times when it will be very important to do business by focusing on cash flow rather than profit of loss, we must get down to operations and put on our aprons when necessary – but we must delegate without hanging around too long and get right back to our strategic work. We cannot go to tomorrow without saving today. Isn't the road we came without preparing for tomorrow very costly? We must accept this and not repeat this mistake.

We should keep our A, B, maybe C scenarios ready; in an environment where everything is so transformed in every sense, we must go for our best scenario, we must not give up on experiments by taking measurable risks, and we must constantly push our A scenario in new ways, but we must be prepared to switch to our B scenario or even our C scenario when things get tough.

We must manage not only with numbers but also with emotions; numbers are very important today, but we cannot express people only with numbers, we must create a culture where there are emotions, everyone does business with collective consciousness, and trust is felt in the business.

We must learn what we do not know by consulting; businesses don't like paying consultants, but as Covid CEOs we must change this rule. We must make agreements with the most competent people on the subject we need and quickly "import information" in areas we do not know. We must act with the knowledge that consultants who process information and transform it to the system will not do the designed job, and we must add it to the intellectual capital of the business through experience and wisdom.

As cross-sector Covid CEOs we must inspire each other; we should try to cooperate instead of compete. We must abandon our old habits, stop being emotional, and make cooperation natural with common sense and collective consciousness. We must be instrumental in the development of society by serving the good of everyone and be good role models to those who follow us.

Even if we know all this we must accept this first and foremost; transformations begin with individuals, develop in teams, and find a place in businesses. What needs to be done to adapt to the new era in transformations is the responsibility of all employees, but we, as Covid CEOs, are the main responsible.

We are the Covid CEOs who implement bold moves that invest in people and tomorrow, without forgetting that culture is the basis of everything! We are at work and ready to lead the transformation!

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