The top crisis management team | Jobs most in-demand in Post-COVID-19 Era
Dr. Evangelo Damigos; PhD | Head of Digital Futures Research Desk
- Human Resources
- Digital Transformation
- Sustainable Growth and Tech Trends
Publication | Update: Sep 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has proven the need for organisational agility, and Raconteur has identified the top crisis management team.
1. Head of technology
“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in wider priorities for the head of technology as part of a crisis management team, and should be a top priority for senior management,” says Jonathan Hemus, managing director of crisis management consultancy Insignia. “With a potential second wave of COVID-19, a business that is now wounded may find a major cyberattack in the next six months could push them into bankruptcy,” Hemus warns. “There are likely to be more successful attacks, so thinking about cybersecurity is really important at the moment.”
And as consumers have flooded ecommerce platforms with record numbers of online orders, leveraging AI has become paramount.
Data from more than 20,000 global companies, compiled by customer service software firm Zendesk, shows that support requests using AI are up 55 per cent since March.
For retailers such as Carrefour, rolling out a chatbot service has been crucial for coping with demand. “We will invest even more in AI,” says Jean-Philippe Blerot, head of digital and ecommerce at Carrefour Belgium. “This allows our customer service agents to focus on more complex answers.”
2. Head of customer services / experience
According to Jean-Philippe Blerot, increase in customer service demand has been staggering at more than 2.5 times higher than usual, and with the COVID-19 outbreak causing systems and teams to overload, customer services has helped limit customer frustration and create a positive experience. The retailer immediately increased by 25 per cent its number of customer services agents, who had to shift from being subject-matter experts to generalists to accommodate the influx of questions.
3. Head of culture and wellbeing
As social interaction and activities have been stripped away by the pandemic and lockdown, recognising the need to interact to has now become front of mind for crisis management teams. As Zendesk chief operating officer Tom Keiser notes, senior management’s ability to prioritise staff wellbeing can help teams to “really come through for their customers”.
Greg Brooks, global chief marketing and culture officer at WPP-owned media company Mindshare, says the current crisis has promoted the need for more empathy and understanding in business. With the human element of a crisis brought into sharp focus by COVID-19, people and culture will play a larger role in business continuity plans and crisis management teams, Brooks predicts.
Mindshare has since doubled down on cultural initiatives to keep colleagues connected and motivated, he adds. It has launched a remote-working online hub, learning programmes, mental health support and virtual events such as quizzes, workouts, origami, reiki, mindfulness, Netflix chats, book clubs, cook-alongs and even a pet Olympics.
Mental health and wellbeing have also risen up the agenda at marketing technology firm MiQ. Co-founder Lee Puri says, “Since the crisis began, its new global head of diversity and inclusion has been tasked with introducing a number of initiatives, such as regular wellness webinars, a global buddy programme and virtual employee resource groups to connect team members around the world.”
4. Head of communications and crisis management
Communication, or lack of it, can make or break a company in a crisis, yet many are just now seeing this, as demonstrated by the mounting workloads for public relations firms.
“In the normal run of business, about 10 to 15 per cent of clients need our support on issues management. “Managing crisis communications around the coronavirus pandemic has been a very different affair and around 25 per cent of clients have asked for support on issues management,” says Debbie Zaman, chief executive of PR agency With.
“This has ranged from rapidly putting together entire crisis communications plans in organisations that didn’t have one, to helping with employees messaging and managing audience communities in the face of cancelled events.”
With communication skills a common essential attribute for crisis management teams, Insignia’s Hemus envisions more heads of communications could take on the additional role of head of crisis management.
5. Head of data and insights
Predicting what a post-COVID-19 new normal will look like might be impossible. But successful future business and crisis management strategies should be a priority, Zendesk’s Keiser recommends.
“We can use data to understand how the virus has impacted a variety of industries, roles and services, to support us in making informed decisions to plan for the future,” he says.
Data and insights can support leaders to develop robust recovery plans.
“This crisis has proven the need for organisational agility in every aspect of your business. The agility to react quickly to the insights that are emerging, even when completely opposite to what you may have just planned, will be critical to success and thriving through the recovery phase,” Keiser concludes.
According to Byrne Wallace, one of Ireland’s largest law firms, advance planning combined with taking pro-active and immediate ownership of a developing crisis is essential.
Objectives and Study Scope
This study has assimilated knowledge and insight from business and subject-matter experts, and from a broad spectrum of market initiatives. Building on this research, the objectives of this market research report is to provide actionable intelligence on opportunities alongside the market size of various segments, as well as fact-based information on key factors influencing the market- growth drivers, industry-specific challenges and other critical issues in terms of detailed analysis and impact.
The report in its entirety provides a comprehensive overview of the current global condition, as well as notable opportunities and challenges.
The analysis reflects market size, latest trends, growth drivers, threats, opportunities, as well as key market segments. The study addresses market dynamics in several geographic segments along with market analysis for the current market environment and future scenario over the forecast period.
The report also segments the market into various categories based on the product, end user, application, type, and region.
The report also studies various growth drivers and restraints impacting the market, plus a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key players. This analysis also examines the competitive landscape within each market. Market factors are assessed by examining barriers to entry and market opportunities. Strategies adopted by key players including recent developments, new product launches, merger and acquisitions, and other insightful updates are provided.
Research Process & Methodology
We leverage extensive primary research, our contact database, knowledge of companies and industry relationships, patent and academic journal searches, and Institutes and University associate links to frame a strong visibility in the markets and technologies we cover.
We draw on available data sources and methods to profile developments. We use computerised data mining methods and analytical techniques, including cluster and regression modelling, to identify patterns from publicly available online information on enterprise web sites.
Historical, qualitative and quantitative information is obtained principally from confidential and proprietary sources, professional network, annual reports, investor relationship presentations, and expert interviews, about key factors, such as recent trends in industry performance and identify factors underlying those trends - drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges influencing the growth of the market, for both, the supply and demand sides.
In addition to our own desk research, various secondary sources, such as Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Statista, are referred to identify key players in the industry, supply chain and market size, percentage shares, splits, and breakdowns into segments and subsegments with respect to individual growth trends, prospects, and contribution to the total market.
Research Portfolio Sources:
Global Business Reviews, Research Papers, Commentary & Strategy Reports
M&A and Risk Management | Regulation
The future outlook “forecast” is based on a set of statistical methods such as regression analysis, industry specific drivers as well as analyst evaluations, as well as analysis of the trends that influence economic outcomes and business decision making.
The Global Economic Model is covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure. We aim update our market forecast to include the latest market developments and trends.
Review of independent forecasts for the main macroeconomic variables by the following organizations provide a holistic overview of the range of alternative opinions:
As a result, the reported forecasts derive from different forecasters and may not represent the view of any one forecaster over the whole of the forecast period. These projections provide an indication of what is, in our view most likely to happen, not what it will definitely happen.
Short- and medium-term forecasts are based on a “demand-side” forecasting framework, under the assumption that supply adjusts to meet demand either directly through changes in output or through the depletion of inventories.
Long-term projections rely on a supply-side framework, in which output is determined by the availability of labour and capital equipment and the growth in productivity.
Long-term growth prospects, are impacted by factors including the workforce capabilities, the openness of the economy to trade, the legal framework, fiscal policy, the degree of government regulation.
Direct contribution to GDP
The method for calculating the direct contribution of an industry to GDP, is to measure its ‘gross value added’ (GVA); that is, to calculate the difference between the industry’s total pretax revenue and its total boughtin costs (costs excluding wages and salaries).
Forecasts of GDP growth: GDP = CN+IN+GS+NEX
GDP growth estimates take into account:
All relevant markets are quantified utilizing revenue figures for the forecast period. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) within each segment is used to measure growth and to extrapolate data when figures are not publicly available.
Our market segments reflect major categories and subcategories of the global market, followed by an analysis of statistical data covering national spending and international trade relations and patterns. Market values reflect revenues paid by the final customer / end user to vendors and service providers either directly or through distribution channels, excluding VAT. Local currencies are converted to USD using the yearly average exchange rates of local currencies to the USD for the respective year as provided by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database.
Industry Life Cycle Market Phase
Market phase is determined using factors in the Industry Life Cycle model. The adapted market phase definitions are as follows:
The Global Economic Model
The Global Economic Model brings together macroeconomic and sectoral forecasts for quantifying the key relationships.
The model is a hybrid statistical model that uses macroeconomic variables and inter-industry linkages to forecast sectoral output. The model is used to forecast not just output, but prices, wages, employment and investment. The principal variables driving the industry model are the components of final demand, which directly or indirectly determine the demand facing each industry. However, other macroeconomic assumptions — in particular exchange rates, as well as world commodity prices — also enter into the equation, as well as other industry specific factors that have been or are expected to impact.
Forecasts of GDP growth per capita based on these factors can then be combined with demographic projections to give forecasts for overall GDP growth.
Wherever possible, publicly available data from ofﬁcial sources are used for the latest available year. Qualitative indicators are normalised (on the basis of: Normalised x = (x - Min(x)) / (Max(x) - Min(x)) where Min(x) and Max(x) are, the lowest and highest values for any given indicator respectively) and then aggregated across categories to enable an overall comparison. The normalised value is then transformed into a positive number on a scale of 0 to 100. The weighting assigned to each indicator can be changed to reﬂect different assumptions about their relative importance.
The principal explanatory variable in each industry’s output equation is the Total Demand variable, encompassing exogenous macroeconomic assumptions, consumer spending and investment, and intermediate demand for goods and services by sectors of the economy for use as inputs in the production of their own goods and services.
Elasticity measures the response of one economic variable to a change in another economic variable, whether the good or service is demanded as an input into a final product or whether it is the final product, and provides insight into the proportional impact of different economic actions and policy decisions.
Demand elasticities measure the change in the quantity demanded of a particular good or service as a result of changes to other economic variables, such as its own price, the price of competing or complementary goods and services, income levels, taxes.
Demand elasticities can be influenced by several factors. Each of these factors, along with the specific characteristics of the product, will interact to determine its overall responsiveness of demand to changes in prices and incomes.
The individual characteristics of a good or service will have an impact, but there are also a number of general factors that will typically affect the sensitivity of demand, such as the availability of substitutes, whereby the elasticity is typically higher the greater the number of available substitutes, as consumers can easily switch between different products.
The degree of necessity. Luxury products and habit forming ones, typically have a higher elasticity.
Proportion of the budget consumed by the item. Products that consume a large portion of the consumer’s budget tend to have greater elasticity.
Elasticities tend to be greater over the long run because consumers have more time to adjust their behaviour.
Finally, if the product or service is an input into a final product then the price elasticity will depend on the price elasticity of the final product, its cost share in the production costs, and the availability of substitutes for that good or service.
Prices are also forecast using an input-output framework. Input costs have two components; labour costs are driven by wages, while intermediate costs are computed as an input-output weighted aggregate of input sectors’ prices. Employment is a function of output and real sectoral wages, that are forecast as a function of whole economy growth in wages. Investment is forecast as a function of output and aggregate level business investment.