How to thrive during COVID-19 and plan for a successful post-pandemic future

Written on Aug 20, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Man in suit smiling for camera.

As organizations consider how the pandemic will impact their business for the remainder of the year, one business consultant urges companies to think and plan strategically.

“Remember that hope is not a strategy,” said Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts, a consulting and training firm that coaches organizations to prepare for business calamities.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Tsipursky said many businesses were unprepared at the beginning stages of the pandemic and some thought it would last only a short amount of time. He recently wrote a book titled, “Resilience: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.

One of the cognitive biases Tsipursky said he mentions in the book is called “anchoring,” in which the initial information we hear about a topic is overly influential.

“A lot of business leaders were really anchored on this not being a big deal in the beginning and it not being a problem,” he said.

Tsipursky said he recently had a conversation with a company in which they revealed they were treating COVID-19 as a day-to-day issue. While that mindset might work out for now, it will not help businesses in the long-term. And while he said the general belief is now that the pandemic will be part of our lives until at least early 2022, if you haven’t already figured out how to operate in this environment, it’s time to start.

If you or your company doesn’t know how to operate well virtually, Tsipursky said it’s essential to figure that out. Invest in any necessary technology you don’t already have, and think of new ways to strengthen relationships virtually, both internally and externally.

“For the next several years, we'll be doing a lot of things differently,” he said. “It’s not sustainable to work with your previous financial operating model in the pandemic.”

Consider the position your business would be in if there are waves of reopenings and restrictions for the foreseeable future. Tsipursky encouraged companies to look at their goals and strategic relationships and consider how those should change or evolve.

When preparing for the future after the pandemic, Tsipursky said to consider a variety of scenarios for your business where it could thrive. Do not just assume everything will revert to how it was pre-pandemic. How might consumers’ behaviors, beliefs and norms change, and what would that mean for your business?

“In your industry, think about what you can do and how you can get ahead,” Tsipursky said. “You want to understand how dynamics might shift and change, and you can’t simply assume your first prediction will be right.”

If you’d like to hear more from Gleb Tsipursky listen to him on our podcast discussing why you shouldn’t always trust your gut and how to build better business relationships .