10 CEOs explain their bounce-back strategy from the pandemic

bounce-back strategy

A bounce-back strategy is a way to return quickly to a normal condition after a difficult situation or event. Synonyms include recovering, rebounding, reinventing, and reigniting.

A bounce-back strategy is a good thing to have for a variety of situations. But every business should have one now, and be living by it.

To help with yours, 10 CEOs explain their bounce-back strategy from the pandemic.

AIRBNB CEO, BRIAN CHESKY: “In this new world, I think cleanliness is paramount. And so, this is now a paramount priority of Airbnb as well. We partnered with former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to develop training for Airbnb hosts on how to disinfect their homes. Airbnb is also requiring rooms that opt into the new cleaning protocols to remain empty for 24 hours between guest stays. Travel will come back, but I think it will come back by car before it comes back by plane.”

APPLE CEO, TIM COOK: “If we stay focused on doing what we do best, if we keep investing, if we manage the business wisely and make decisions collaboratively, if we take care of our teams, if our teams take care of their work, I don’t see any reason to be anything but optimistic. Apple retail employees are starting online training and ramping up virtual meetings in anticipation of store re-openings. That will require employees to clock in and out online. The introduction of the new MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPhone SE in recent weeks shows that the pandemic isn’t disrupting product launches. The company plans to release up to four redesigned iPhones later this year with 5G networking. 

BEST BUY CEO CORIE BARRY: “Right now, our role as a consumer electronics retailer is rapidly shifting, and we are striving to make the best decisions with two goals in mind: The first is to protect our customers, employees, and their families. The second is to do the best we can to serve the millions of Americans who are looking to us for increasingly vital technology tools to stay connected.”

MASTERCARD CEO, AJAY BANGA: “I believe that digitization is a mechanism to deliver inclusive growth. But digitization is also the vehicle for those who are left out to feel even further left out. With a people-first mindset and a responsible implementation of technology, that digitization will be a good thing. The first thing you have to do is look after your people. That is all part of thinking through inclusion. Inclusion is a fancy word for human decency.”

PULSE FILMS CEO, THOMAS BENSKI: “We booked six jobs in the last few weeks, some of those are already getting on the air. Clients include McDonald’s, Budweiser, Halifax, and the BBC. The shoots are being conducted in a variety of entirely remote fashions: sterilized equipment is being delivered, directors and writers are working remotely, sourcing of footage, VFX work, editing can all be done at home. What we’re seeing in the world right now is that humans always lean on creativity and storytelling to amuse themselves.”

STARBUCKS CEO, KEVIN JOHNSON: “Phase 1: Mitigate and Contain, Starbucks closed access to cafes and reduced service to drive-thru and delivery only for two weeks. The company also opted to pay all employees (which Starbucks calls partners) for 30 days–whether they chose to come to work or not. Phase 2: Monitor and Adapt. This phase includes the gradual reopening of stores–but that reopening will look different across the country.”

REDFIN CEO, GLENN KELMAN: “Everything we were planning to do over the next two or three years, we’ve had to do over the next two or three weeks. Christian Taubman, our chief product officer, said, we need to launch video chat tours, I dug in my heels and said, if people can’t see a house in person, I’m not sure they’re ever going to buy it. About two weeks into the crisis, we’d already launched an initial version. He said we need to do it better. And if we do, it will work. And I’m so glad I was wrong. And he was right. The reason I tell that story is just to underscore the importance in a crisis of dissent. You’re going to have all sorts of people yakking at you, and you need to really listen because it is so crucial to make the right decision.” 

SENTARA HEALTHCARE CEO, HOWARD KERN: “5G will advance the capabilities of these technologies, enabling clinicians to make sharper and more accurate diagnoses and decisions. What’s clear for the foreseeable future is that artificial intelligence will not replace physicians and clinicians in patient interactions, but rather, it will complement their skills and experience so that decision-making is more rapid and streamlined. We will have the opportunity to deliver more personalized and innovative care in a manner that is truly customer-centric.”

TOKKI CEO, JANE PARK (CHILDREN’S CLOTHING STORE IN TORONTO): “I had a friend of a friend call me to ask about whether they could use our fabric in making face masks. I bought high-quality cotton because it absorbs color better and I also didn’t want to use synthetics for environmental purposes. But it turns out it’s the best material for cloth masks. I thought we had to be transparent about the fact that this is an effort to keep my team together and cover some of those costs, and also to give back to the community. So we do one mask that we give away for everyone that we make. A lot of companies have gone one way or another in terms of masks and how they think about donations. But we had to do this on the fly pretty early, being guided by what our principles are.”

VISA CEO, AL KELLY: “There will be no COVID-19-related layoffs at the company in 2020. There is enough sadness in the world and already too many families have been impacted by job losses. I have no interest in contributing to that.”

Do these CEOs give you direction? Does your business have a bounce-back strategy?

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