Dear friends of AlixPartners,
The COVID-19 virus is dominating the news cycle, and it must also be dominating your personal and professional conversations. AlixPartners is no different; we are actively implementing our response to this situation while operating in an environment of considerable uncertainty.
We are all in this together.
At AlixPartners, we are leaning on our core values: Commitment, Professionalism, Teamwork, Common Sense, Personal Respect, and Communication. These values have guided us since our founding in 1981, and we test all our actions against them, because they will continue to be our core values for many generations to come.
We draw on almost forty years of experience in helping our clients navigate through their most urgent and challenging situations. In a crisis, the foremost concerns must be personal health and safety—of our families, our employees, and ourselves. Taking care of those who contract the virus and joining the global community in taking sensible steps to slow its spread is of the utmost importance.
Once you have addressed the critical efforts to safeguard your family and your people, you then turn to the health and safety of your business. Our firm exists to protect our clients’ businesses and help them manage through the most complex of challenges. There is no single formula for doing this, and the COVID-19 threat is unprecedented. Still, there are a few responses that can be applied here which we have developed through decades of helping clients with their greatest challenges.
At the highest level, we recommend:
- Recognize this situation for what it is—a crisis. Quickly follow that recognition with a reminder that leadership is doing whatever it takes to manage through turbulent times. Communicate constantly, consistently, and transparently.
- Create an emergency response team of senior leaders to make all decisions and coordinate all communications. This is no time for confusion—clarity provides security.
- Ensure your liquidity position is adequate for the duration. Take swift actions if it isn’t. A sudden crisis renders your current plans and models obsolete, and your first priority must be near-term financial health.
- In parallel, plan for the worst-case scenario—in both magnitude and duration—and develop a list of structural changes that can be implemented should the crisis deepen or linger. Operational leadership must believe in and be willing to apply those changes before they become a necessity.
- Think creatively about who can help you. In a crisis, your customers and suppliers are not just arm’s length economic partners; they are flesh-and-blood communities facing the same issues you are. The solutions that will make you resilient will often be found with your partners.
Two things we know about crises from our experience: they are all different, and they all end. How they end for your business depends on the speed and quality of your crisis management.
Many of you have already reached out to ask a question, brainstorm an idea, or inquire if AlixPartners has an action plan detailing steps to take during a crisis. We are honored by the outreach, and we are happy to help in any way we can. You are our friends, and we are here to help.
We are all in this together.
Chief Executive Officer, AlixPartners, LLP