During a crisis (bookings down by as much as 80% for some Enterprise Technology companies), leaders act with imperfect information. A reactionary approach is never the optimal approach. We offer a 6-step plan.
Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher. The “Pareto principle” – better known as the 80/20 rule – was named after him. It is a rule we follow in M&A. Corporate Development teams are limited in resources when performing due diligence and are best served by taking a targeted approach. For example, focusing efforts on the two or three products that drive 70-80% of the target company’s revenue and profitability as opposed to trying to master every product and service during a 30-day diligence period.
Suppose we took a targeted approach to solving for COVID and similar national crises?
- Define the Mission: Make it our mission to mitigate the risk of mortality among those 70 and older without shutting down the economy.
- Focus on the Target Group: Recommend (not mandate) that those 70 and older remain at home for the next month. “Travel at your own risk” if within the At Risk population. Update this guidance as necessary.
- Stop the Feel Good Measures: Kill mass social distancing in the case of COVID. Many infectious disease experts suggest we missed the social distancing window with COVID by a few weeks. Next time we can do better.
- Define Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP”): Both at the Federal and State levels we need to define and implement standard operating procedures to mitigate the risk of infectious disease (both natural and weaponized) and for mobilizing healthcare post infection to “at risk” groups. Regularly drill these procedures in government, schools and at home. Games are not won on game day.
- Public Private Partnerships: Recruit the large healthcare service providers and Pharma companies to help lead the effort in Number 4.
- Taxpayer Bailouts:
- Force mergers before providing taxpayer assistance to companies (airlines for example).
- Define terms for accepting government assistance including:
- Mandated that CEO’s and CFO’s step down.
- Government takes a minimum 50% equity stake and/or becomes a senior secured lender.
- All share buybacks and dividends must cease immediately.