Forecasting approach to crisis management:
#Asking help to manage uncertainty through a codified management control process
#Keep the team's trust high by involving them in strategic decision-making
|Professional Services Sector
|February - May 2020
This business story starts from a client’s experience during the pandemic and the lockdown in Lombardy between February and May 2020.
The organisation was forced to completely revise its business model and, in the moment of crisis, asked for our support to be guided and have guidance in the process of deep restructuring in order to save the company.
The client has been operating in the professional services sector for 15 years, has an office in Milan, an average turnover of €800,000 and at the beginning of 2019 had invested resources and capital in an expansion process with the opening of an office in Rome by June 2020.
In February, as for so many other SMEs, there were already difficult decisions ahead due to the potential closure of the business. Most of the energies were focused, on the one hand, to provide operational continuity of the services offered, and on the other on trying to secure the company.
The challenge was to help people involved in decision-making roles to manage uncertainty through a codified management control process and to maintain the team’s confidence by empowering people through the sharing of strategic choices.
We started the journey with initiatives of listening and paying attention to people: the CARECoaching project, many individual sessions delivered by our coaches and psychologists.
The next step involved managers with the aim of stimulating awareness regarding current and future context, co-constructing the rules and methods of remote collaboration and taking small steps towards the future.
To guide the group to an objective analysis of the context and associated risks, together with the group we codified a forecasting model that took into account the necessary resilience to face the future and ensure that the business would scale..
We therefore involved the Board in group coaching with the managers to share the risk and responsibility plan.
After a pilot project on the forecasting model, we proceeded to define the organisation’s ‘temperature’ indicators (accounting KPIs,even related to the degree of perceived fear and uncertainty). Then we made an assessment, through some surveys, of the entire company workforce, that was involved in the process sharing ideas and solutions.
- Internal context assessment
- Risk and opportunity analysis
- Individual coaching
- In-person and remote group coaching
- KPI definition and forecasting model
- Remote on-the-job coaching
- Climate assessment (Va.Rp, Work-related
stress risk assessment)
The project concluded with a climate survey to map the context and burn-out risks, which revealed excellent feedback and high awareness of the situation. Managers, after the pilot project, adopted the dashboard and planned weekly meetings with the Board to analyse data and make forecasts on the future of the business. At the moment, the company, with the data available, has defined a timely business plan to cover the year’s costs and make some investments in marketing activities.
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