March, 31, 2020
*Asia includes Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
**South Asia includes India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
While much uncertainty and volatility exist, chief executives are staying calm, focusing on the facts and planning in the early weeks of the spread of COVID-19.
In a recent snapshot of sentiment among global business leaders conducted 10-13 March, the Young Presidents' Organization's (YPO) Chief Executive Global Survey on the Business Impact of COVID-19 found that of the more than 2,750 respondents, most have experienced negative business impact and many more expect to experience it in the next six months.
The survey finds that; while many projections are dependent on the overall severity and timing of outbreak peaks around the world, the majority of leaders expect no significant negative impacts on revenue (54%), number of employees (77%) and total fixed investment (70%) a year from now and are working to stay ahead of anticipated challenges.
The survey also founds that;
Business travel (87%), new business development (62%) and revenues (58%) are the three top areas most chief executives say they are currently experiencing COVID-19 impact. However, even this can change as CEOs may feel differently after the peak of the virus outbreak. Those in areas currently experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks are more pessimistic than the average. China appears past its peak and more optimistic than the sentiment of chief executives who are currently experiencing the height of the virus in their countries.
CEOs expect things to get worse before they get better
Almost all business leaders (82%) are expecting declines in revenues over the next six months, but one year from now, more than half (54%) expect revenue to remain the same or be better. Chief executives in countries with the highest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases are more likely to report expecting a more than 20% decrease in sales over the next year.
Focused and Swift
Ninety-five percent of leaders report taking action in response to COVID-19. These actions include communicating more regularly with employees (68%), adopting new health and safety procedures (67%), cancelling major events (64%), and halting business travel (53%). This new environment has also driven chief executives to shift short-term goals (32%), research new business innovations (28%) and make changes to their supply chains (18%). Looking at the data regionally, nearly half (49%) of European chief executives and Asian (excluding South Asia) chief executives (42%) have implemented remote working for all employees.
As of 13 March 2020 (when the survey closed), the majority of companies globally have halted business travel; the lowest numbers come from North America (U.S. 45%, Canada 46%), Latin America (51%) and Australia/New Zealand (50%).
Leading through this crisis: CEO- to- CEO advice
YPO asked survey respondents to offer their best leadership advice for other chief executives during this global pandemic. Here are their recommendations:
Source - YPO