Bias for Action

Defense Preparedness: Get to the Other Side

by James P Dunn, D Partners, 

Jim has thirty years of progressive leadership experience with emerging growth companies in the services, information and telecommunications industries. Jim has operated as executive management for publicly and privately held companies including GE ITS, SITEL, Stream International, Access Graphics, Oppenheimer Funds, and Kemper. Jim earned an MBA and BSBA from the University of Denver.

Crisis, our stakeholders need our leadership to Get to the Other Side. Very few events in our lifetime create such uncertainty.  The ability to navigate a disaster and the number of mind-numbing scenarios is a true test.  Yet, human nature is to react as business is usual. Instinctually we  gravitate towards day-to-day decisions.  The situation demands leadership and action: assess, measure, and react.

Defense Preparedness can and should be applied to a market, business or ecosystem.  We are borrowing the term to discuss how businesses should react to the unfolding disaster that faces us today.

“Civil defense … civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state … natural disasters. It uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation and recovery.” Wikipedia (paraphrased)

Bias for Action

Our seasoned operating team partners with Private Equity to acquire and transform businesses into emerging growth companies.  Ultimately, we are responsible for the safekeeping and execution of our business.  We have lived through events like the one facing Boards and leaders of companies today. We recognize the need for quick assessment of this situation, tactical focus on creating runway, navigating a storm with a great deal of uncertainty. We want all businesses to Get to the Other Side.

Our intent is to provide working guidelines and thought leadership from experienced leaders.  We all benefit from a deliberate approach to managing this crisis.  Over the next few weeks, we will provide actionable ideas we hope contribute to exemplary communication between all the shareholders, Investors, Employees (including contractors), Clients and supporting institutions.

We recently met with an executive management team that is considering a change of control to discuss the impact of the crisis. We proposed the following questions to assess the situation.

Company Defense Preparedness Questions

  1. How is the company reacting to the pandemic and financial crisis?
  2. Have you organized to address this crisis?
  3. How do you forecast it will affect the business revenue? 30, 60, 90 days
  4. How do you expect it will affect operating costs?
  5. How has this impacted the valuation of the business?
  6. How are you communicating with key stakeholders? Cadence?
    1. Investors
    2. Customers
    3. Contractors
  7. Financial concerns?
    1.  Balance sheet review
    2. Debt holders, LOC Covenants
    3. Individual operators in specific state concerns
  8. Insurance concerns
  9. Best practice in the industry to tactically deal with the next 90 days
  10. How have comparable public organizations’ valuations been affected in the last 90 days?
  11. Do you have a scoreboard that you look at on a daily or weekly basis to measure impact?

Defense Preparedness starts with assessment and monitoring in support of prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation and recovery. Let’s get our businesses to the other side.

Leadership Reimagined! D Partners is an already assembled high-performing CxO team keen on delivering expected results.

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