Klaus Striebich is Managing Director of RaRE Advise and Member of the ACROSS Advisory Board. Credit: RaRe Advice

Community prevails

“There is no need to look for culprits or point out those industries or competitors who might not be affected in the same way.”

By Klaus Striebich

There are lot of things being said, written, and posted right now. The current corona crisis affects us in significant ways. That is the main difference between this crisis and previous ones, such as Lehman Brothers, the dotcom bubble, war scenarios, etc. It truly affects us all, around the world. Whether at home with our families, in the office with our colleagues or in the cultural and social environment of each individual.

This crisis also shows how complex our community has become. It reveals a myriad of interdependencies and connections and especially the vulnerability of this system. The taken and maybe only way towards a solution is solidarity, defined as a stance for unity of everybody involved, and mutual support of ideas, activities, and measures to solve this problem. This is not the time for questions like “Am I entitled to receive lease payments, payment of supplier invoices or continued pay?”, no legal appraisal, who is at an advantage, or particularly protected. There is no need to look for culprits or point out those industries or competitors who might not be affected in the same way. Yes, these days it is all about crisis management as well as creativity and developing ideas to handle missing revenues and incurred costs. Time is an important factor in this context, even though it is hard to predict at this point how long this situation will last.

The government’s many measures were defined quickly and also extensively. Their practicability and implementation must now be proven in the real world. For many companies, especially in the retail sector, this situation will become a brutal fight for survival. After all, the retail model is not viable without current revenue. This is particularly true for restaurants and hotels. Canceled overnight stays, table reservations and unconsumed food are irretrievable and cannot be “produced for stock”. Unsold goods that remain in retail warehouses have expiry dates and will be effectively devalued. In any case, we will not go back to normal. Operations at many companies have come to a complete halt and they have to start again from the beginning. Everybody involved–and this is truly everybody–has to cut back and accept setbacks or sever measures.

It does not help to lament or complain, it is imperative to develop solutions creatively and collaboratively in a fair and balanced environment, as we act as partners, in an honest manner, with long-term objectives in mind. This is what I would consider to be solidarity in these times. To prevail as a community.

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