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Governance planning for business continuity

There will be life after the coronavirus disease pandemic has had its share of the space. What is true for both SMEs and larger enterprises, including state-owned enterprises, is that your business models may require adjustment in order to be more responsive to the new normal that defines the life after COVID-19.

How they adapt is in large part a factor of how agile your governance arrangements are. By governance arrangements, I mean the structures and processes that enable you to do things right, both for increasing shareholder value as well as service delivery, depending on which sector you are in – private or public.

1. Role of the board of directors

As the directing mind of the company or organization, the directors will be expected to provide guidance and directives to management on new business pathways to recovery, sustainability and on new frontiers to maintain your competitive advantage.

If your business was in an area whose relevance was tested by the lockdown, as directors you may need to think of starting new business or service lines that will be required even in crisis times. Composition of boards must be done in a manner that enables frank, timely, comprehensive and informed discussions on new risks, innovations and even on operational lines that must be cut.

2. Organizational structural alignment

What is particularly true for larger companies is that organizational structures must make room for roles that will enable you tap into new gold mines that will keep you a step ahead of the competition.

For instance, do you have a chief data officer? Do you have data- fit processes that will help your business tap into business intelligence for more targeted and responsive operations? Data fluency is the new business administration.

3. Liquidity issues

Your cash flows may have taken a hit during the days of lockdown as debtors were not paying up and creditors came calling. The quickest path to insolvency is being “balance sheet” rich but cash-poor. Now is the time to acid test your business and make the decisions that will get your liquidity back up.

4. Regulatory compliance

Late filing penalties, delayed cash refunds and other regulatory compliance penalties are money leakage points for your business. Plug the haemorrhaging by taking advantage of the lifelines being thrown at you by regulators such as extension of filing dates and quick cashing of tax refunds. Getting your record in order and maintaining them well to enable quick access and inspection will enable you to take advantage of these opportunities.

5. Digitalization

Embrace the digital revolution. Have you been operatingin a totally manual business model? Now is the time for innovation and branching out or fast-tracking your digital presence and rolling out digital products. The efficiency and easy uptake of e-commerce and digital finance indicates that there is thirst for digital economy products.

6. Recalibrate your strategy

The organizations that will not only survive but thrive post-Covid-19 will more than likely be those that have gone through a strategy recalibration with agility mindsets, new strategy statements, new client propositions, new culture statements and adjusted business models.

Strategy recalibration may be the launchpad that your enterprise needs to thrive well into the next 50+ years.

dorisakol@gmail.com

Doris Akol is an advocate and a policy & governance specialist

Comments

0 #1 okonye 2020-05-14 07:51
I have failed to understand what the former URA boss wanted to say in this article.

I think a lot of research and evidence lacks in this article. Just reading other pieces of writing like for Sserunkuma and Sentongo, you will get what I mean. Thank you
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0 #2 Nalongo Mutiima 2020-05-14 17:05
Former URA boss just wanted to inform you she is fully around as an advocate and policy & governance specialist.

Don't mind her outlined notes.
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0 #3 Julian Mukiibi 2020-05-15 22:47
Spot on advisory Doris, it's now a necessity to go digital so as to survive business wise, the pandemic has only made it more evident.

Moreover this goes for both services and goods oriented businesses!
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+1 #4 Apollo 2020-05-16 22:02
Okonye, Ms. Akol is using a mix of technical and diplomatic language to basically say that business survival will come at a cost of job cuts, reduced revenues, high cost of borrowing and high tax payments.

She is saying that things are going to be tough but businesses that attempt to quickly make the needed changes, may have a high chance at surviving or even thriving.

She as well quietly implied that she can be a consultant for such businesses.
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