by Das Narayandas , Vinay Hebbar and Liangliang Li

The past four months have provided an opportunity to study a once-in-a-lifetime moment — how companies function during an unprecedented global pandemic while also navigating an accelerated shift to digital operations.

China was weeks ahead of the rest of the world in dealing with the pandemic and its fallout, so their experience is of interest. We conducted a series of 20 in-depth, in-person interviews, as well as a large-scale survey of more than 350 senior executives, to ascertain how the Chinese corporate world has adapted, innovated, survived — and even thrived — through this uncertain time. The companies we looked at, which ranged from state-owned enterprises to multinational corporations to local private companies, were forced to quickly:

Leverage digital technologies so that they could adapt and innovate
Try out novel business models
Stitch together solutions to address emerging and previously unrecognized customer needs
Develop new business processes and practices
Redefine models for collaboration and teamwork.
As China emerges from its Covid-19 lockdown, it is becoming clear that many of the challenges they faced are here to stay – and that some of the changes they introduced should be, as well. We identified 11 lessons to help inform business leaders throughout the rest of the world.

1. Be transparent about your challenges.
Leaders in our survey who reported their firms had successfully managed the crisis told us they regularly kept their teams up to date on the state of their organizations, as well as the priorities and principles that would guide decisions at all levels. These leaders said they plan to sustain this higher level of transparency and information sharing going forward with more frequent, direct, frank, and personal communication.

For example, when asked during a meeting with employees why his company decided to shut down one of its global R&D centers, which symbolized the future of the business, the CEO of a major engineering and technology company replied: “If we cannot survive the next three months, we will have no future at all.”
The increased transparency wasn’t always easy. Multiple leaders told us that they felt their actions were under a microscope, with employees watching to see whether their behavior aligned with stated corporate values. They truly had to “walk the walk and talk the talk.” They also had to accept that not all employees would be pleased with their decisions. But ultimately these leaders reported that the majority of employees adopted a feeling of “we are all in this battle together and fighting the same enemy” that seemed to exceed localized employee dissatisfaction.

read  more at : https://hbr.org/2020/06/lessons-from-chinese-companies-response-to-covid-19?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=hbr