Recession-Ready Or Not? New Study Looks At Executive Preparedness


Forbes | October 22, 2019

The Forbes article, "Recession-Ready Or Not? New Study Looks At Executive Preparedness," featured the Russell Reynolds Associates paper, "Preparing for economic uncertainty: Are your operations teams ready?" and Consultant Pascal Bécotte. The article is excerpted below.

In the face of rampant recession anxiety, a new study from leadership advisory and search firm Russell Reynolds Associates looks at how well-prepared company executives perceive themselves to be for an economic slowdown.

According to the study, “Preparing for economic uncertainty: Are your operations teams ready?” companies who weren’t equipped to handle the effects of the 2008 financial crisis first felt its impact on their operations, supply chains and finance functions. Those teams are also more likely to agree that a future recession will negatively impact performance. The 534 senior executives surveyed included 179 CFOs, 148 chief human resources officers and 79 executives currently or previously responsible for operations and supply chain functions were in  near-unanimous agreement that a recession is likely to occur, although only 8% of them reported feeling as though they personally were well prepared to navigate such a downturn.

The study suggests that communication among a company’s CEO, COO and chief supply chain officer is a key factor in charting a course through stormy waters: 51% of COOs and chief supply chain officers said that their CEOs do not require them to have a contingency plan for economic downturns. According to the report, cooperation is “critical to developing a plan and managing risk in the organization’s supply chain.” “The people in the C-suite now were not in the C-suite back then,” said Pascal Becotte, a consultant at Russell Reynolds and coauthor of the study. “For new executives who have not faced the storm before, it’s going to be their first high volatility environment. It’s hard for them to know exactly what they’re facing.”
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Recession-Ready Or Not? New Study Looks At Executive Preparedness