Podcast: Stronger for longer: How top performers thrive through downturns

McKinsey & Company | Sean Brown and Kevin Laczkowski | Dec 2019

resilience playbook - Podcast:  Stronger for longer: How top performers thrive through downturnsResilient companies enjoy gains that last long after an economic crisis has passed.

We talk with two of our experts about their new research on corporate resilience and what differentiates companies that emerge from economic downturns stronger than they were going in. We'll share insights on preparing your organization for macroeconomic crises and why the next downturn may be very different from earlier ones.

Sean Brown: Kevin, what do you see as the most important first steps in developing such a resilience playbook?

Kevin Laczkowski: You need alignment across the top team. This must be driven from the top down. It has to be a senior management team priority, or it doesn’t work. The second step is setting up the resilience nerve center and staffing it with high performers who can take macroeconomic scenarios, bring them down to the company level, understand how to stress test, and know what interventions and diagnostics the organization needs.

A resilience playbook needs alignment across the top team. It has to be a senior management priority, or it doesn’t work.

Kevin Laczkowski

See:  Executive Perspectives on Top Risks 2020

Sean Brown: Do any other differences stand out to you between today and a decade ago that may make the next downturn distinctive?

Resilients had noticeably stronger divestitures, in particular during the down cycle. They also acquired far more than nonresilients did during the recovery period.

Mihir Mysore

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