The future of business: Reimagining 2020 and beyond​

In this special edition of The Next Normal, McKinsey senior partners envision how the COVID-19 crisis will transform entire industries in the coming 12 to 18 months.

McKinsey’s Dame Vivian Hunt, Kevin Sneader, and Bob Sternfels reflect on how the COVID-19 crisis is transforming all industries.

The COVID-19 reset

Kevin Sneader: It’s become very clear just about everywhere that we are going to have to get used to waves of disruption and, as a result, a constant battle. In fact, the way I would describe this is we’ve moved from all-out warfare to the hunt for a dangerous criminal who pops up in many different places, who requires us to take different actions depending on where they appear, and who doesn’t actually go away. COVID-19 is a criminal who will continue to plague us for some time to come.

Vivian Hunt: Healthcare and lives, the economy and livelihoods, and also civil liberties have really been challenged during this period. The concerns about the treatment of Black Americans at the hands of the police, the reactions to George Floyd’s killing, and basically a reexposure on these global digital platforms of bias and concerns about fair treatment have really lit a very human and important touchpaper and a desire to address that as we think about ways to build back better.

Bob Sternfels: If I think about some of the potential pitfalls that I’m seeing senior executives [fall into], it’s thinking about this next phase as “a return to what I had before” as opposed to taking the opportunity to say, “Can I reset or reimagine my organization?” I think some of the most inspiring conversations I’ve had with CEOs are about, “How do I rewire my organization for this speed that’s based on design versus based on adrenaline?”

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