- IMD Business School

Leading in turbulent times webinar series: Rapid resilience

What strategies lead to success?
42 min.
April 2020

In such times of crisis, companies’ resilience is what shines. So what are the different strategies that lead to resilience? How have certain companies absorbed the shock, changed and bounced forward rather than backward?

This webinar led by Howard Yu, LEGO Professor of Management and Innovation and Director, Advanced Management Program (AMP), IMD, and Patrick Reinmoeller, Professor of Strategy and Innovation, IMD, takes a deep dive into how companies in Asia, Europe and the US are beating the virus with resilience. Discussing key capabilities and strategies, they explore different approaches and reflect on two important questions that plague company leaders now: How to become resilient? How to do so rapidly?

The basis of their thinking is summed up in five principles of resilience: structural organizational autonomy; industry boundaries rooted in ecosystem thinking; decision making transparency; culture of resilience; and strategic foresight.

Sometimes a company can benefit from unexpected developments, according to Professor Yu. While governments have spoken of reconsidering the size of technology firms in the recent past, that thinking has sustained a major shift since COVID-19.

“Everyone from Elizabeth Warren to the Indian authorities wanted to break up big tech,” says Yu. “Now firms like Google and Apple are now responding to the COVID-19 crisis by working together with governments to track individuals, for example. What a windfall!” says Yu.

Professor Reinmoeller then delves into several examples of resilience in family-owned or -dominated companies.

“Companies with a culture of resilience embrace slack – for these firms, redundancy is not important,” he says. “Stora Enso, for example, has been around since the 1200s and has been obsessed with sticking to their values and core purpose.”

Yet Reinmoeller specifies that at the same time, the raw materials company has remained ready to adapt when necessary, keeping a balance between tradition and innovation.

The two professors then end with a discussion on strategic foresight and what your company can do now to reinforce resilience to ensure a more successful future.


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