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Driving in heavy weather

In this series of articles, Eric Dupont and Philippe Angoustures, partners at PMP, examine how, in the current crisis, the experience of difficult conditions at sea can be useful to managers.

Storm on the economy, wind of madness on the financial markets, horizon which does not cease darkening here is the daily life full of uncertainties which we must face.

The Financial Directors are more than ever on the bridge of the company, we support them to succeed in the 3 key maneuvers for the months to come.

Put on the Cape

Faced with a storm when the road is no longer tenable, the captain has two options Put in the Cape, that is to say quickly stop the boat by slowly drifting into the wind, or else put to flight in the hope of escaping the storm. storm.

The preferred option today is that of upgrading, through a review of all costs, cash flow and priority projects. The stake for the company is to act on what it controls, but also to preserve its assets, to separate itself from what is useless and to gain in agility.

This storm is also an opportunity to prepare for change, to question positioning, certain partnerships, organizations and processes, but also to unite the entire crew, to take care of their physical and mental state, to succeed in the next maneuvers.

Set a new course

For the past few weeks the navigation has been done by sight, however the horizons near which we used to sail are moving further and further away.

The finance departments will have to help the company to set a new course. This will be one of the biggest challenges in the months to come as the winds will no doubt remain contrary and uncertain.

We will have to determine the range of possibilities by working by scenarios, in particular by better identifying the exogenous factors that have an impact on the business. The autopilots will no longer be able to reach the objectives, we will have to hold on to the helm to navigate upwind .

This navigation requires reviewing all our routing tools , focusing energies on a reduced number of short-term objectives, balancing control and autonomy of the crew, being constantly in a logic of re-forecasts to adjust the trajectory . It is time to think about new tools (Scenario Planning, OKR, rolling Forecast, Beyond budgeting) to set the course and objectify performance.

Towards new horizons

All sailors know it, the wind always turns. The captain will have to rethink his strategy to identify the new opportunities of the Blue Ocean and not stay to fight in the red ocean [1].

Once the brunt of the storm has passed, it will be necessary to analyze the business portfolios with regard to this new environment, identify development or acquisition opportunities, take full advantage of the growth trends of digitization, sustainable development and more generally. new rules of globalization.

Many challenges to take up but also new horizons to conquer, the entire PMP team gets on board by your side to meet them.

[1] Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

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