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Leading Out of Adversity

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Leading Out of Adversity

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
5 take-aways
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For post–COVID-19 success, start planning now.

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Short-term survival might be the only thing on your mind, but you’ll eventually emerge into a post-pandemic world that might look much different to the one you left. You’ll need new strategies for navigating the new business landscape. Boston Consulting Group analysts Rich Lesser and Martin Reeves suggest that while the emphasis on digital transformation and efficiency will continue, rebuilding customer trust, focusing on collective environmental concerns and creating more robust supply chains will be critical for post–COVID-19 planning.


Flatten the curve, but do it as sustainably as possible.

Unfortunately, actions that stop the COVID-19 virus — including strict social distancing — also stop the movement of goods and services. No one wants to choose between economic devastation and hospitals overwhelmed by a deadly infection. And because history offers few comparable situations, no one knows the long-term consequences of slowing the real economy. If you’re waiting for things to get back to normal, you may end up waiting forever. The post-COVID world will be quite different from the one you used to inhabit.

South Korea offers lessons regarding widespread testing, infection tracking and regulation enforcement. Other countries that have already seen a dip in new infections can supply functional models for reopening local economies. These steps will require cooperation between government, business and health care. Though society needs vaccines for a complete reopening of the economy, the treatments will take at least 18 months to develop. Investment in research...

About the Authors

Rich Lesser is chief executive officer in the Boston Consulting Group’s New York office. Martin Reeves is managing director, senior partner and chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute in San Francisco. The BCG Henderson Institute is the Boston Consulting Group’s strategy think tank.

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