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Corporate Strategy in a Crisis: Taking Stock with Aaron Chio

Contributors: Aaron Chio

Having a strong corporate strategy in a crisis prepared is increasingly important, especially during these unprecedented times. It goes without saying that we are living and working through absolutely unprecedented times right now, with the world seemingly changing with each passing day.  For consumer products executives, in particular, we have a dual responsibility to our employees and to our consumers.  While we have always had to manage that balance, this is seemingly more pronounced today.

First and foremost, you have a responsibility to your people during this COVID-19 crisis.  And I know from discussions I have had with many companies, this responsibility is being taken with utmost of seriousness.  Many of you have established two-way communications that have offered a place for employees to safely express any concerns or feelings of uncertainty that they might be having.  You are, without a doubt, demonstrating an empathy and caring for your employees that is indicative of the common sense of purpose and well being that we all share.

However, while it might be easier for your corporate employees to stay home and ensure social distancing, this is obviously a greater challenge for your manufacturing and distribution employees.   Your consumers, now more than ever, NEED your products.  Your food, your drinks, your cleaning supplies, your logistics capabilities, etc. are critical and the manufacturing needs to continue to ensure that consumers are able to get the supplies they need in this crisis.  The precautions that you are putting in place to ensure your employees’ utmost safety, while still realizing your sense of purpose to your consumers is critical to success.


On this week’s Taking Stock, I sit down with Aaron Chio from Clarkston Consulting.  Last fall, I had the opportunity to listen to a presentation that Aaron gave, titled From Growth to Optimization, Readying for the Future.  In his talk, he shared his extensive research of over 350 companies through the 2007-2009 Recession and how specific companies were able to manage through those challenging times and come out on the other side in a stronger position.

As business leaders, we are all attempting to manage through today’s challenges, knowing that there is no script for us to follow…no set of guidelines to adhere to.  However, I wanted to have Aaron join us this morning to share some of his perspectives on various lessons learned from the Great Recession of 2008, as I believe there are many takeaways that could be applied towards the challenges of today.

Aaron will share his perspective on what specific attributes have made consumer products companies so resilient through similar market downturns, and to how to ensure those characteristics remain in place.  He will also talk through competencies that companies need to manage through market downturns, including the ability to continually invest in the future, operate with an organizational agility when needed, simplify the strategy to focus on the key tasks at hand and why creating a common sense of purpose for your internal and external stakeholders is absolutely critical. Corporate strategy in a crisis is important for an organization’s success and stability during these unpredictable times.

You can download and listen to the Corporate Strategy in a Crisis: Taking Stock with Aaron Chio here.

Taking Stock

In this podcast series, Clarkston Consulting Partner Steve Rosenstock sits down with experts and thought leaders from both within Clarkston and throughout its consumer products and life sciences client-base, covering a range of topics from industry trends and consumer dynamics, to organizational governance and business strategy. Steve provides you access into the passions of its guests and allows you to benefit from their stories, knowledge, and deep expertise.

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Podcast production by Zach McClughen. 

Tags: Operational Excellence, Organizational Health, Strategic Advisory, Strategic Innovation, Podcast
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