The reset takes place in three stages: response, recovery and renewal

As the phases of the COVID-19 pandemic progress, business leaders must reset their strategy and develop resilience, according to Gartner, Inc. It is crucial for senior leaders to make strategic decisions that lead them to a renewed organization.

Gartner refers to “resetting” as three phases that leaders will go through during the pandemic. The duration of each stage varies depending on the country, industry and enterprise, product or service. As business leaders reset their strategies during the pandemic, the three stages they will go through include: Response, recovery, and renewal (see Figure 1).

“There has been a reset of the workforce and the work itself, a reset of the employer / employee relationship and a reset of the business ecosystem. For most, the impact of the pandemic on business has been profoundly negative, and positive for some lucky sectors, “said Chris Howard, head of research at Gartner. “The pandemic has wiped out the strategy for some leaders, but they have also gained invaluable experience. Now is the time to bring the executive team together and use those lessons to reconfigure business and operating models to a new reality. ”

Figure 1: Chronology of the activity


Immediate actions are focused on keeping people safe and running the essential functions of the business. This is a relatively short period, marked by great effort and potentially chaotic activity. Key activities include:

Temporary remedies to stop the bleeding.


This is a more organized / coordinated effort to stabilize operations. It has an average duration. Key activities include:

Create a plan to restore a scalable state

Identify the capacity needed for consolidation, refactoring, reopening, re-employment, re-closure and replenishment


Prolonged period marked by a strategic and sustainable execution throughout the organization. Key activities include:

Learn how to perform business processes and workflows in new, repeatable, and scalable ways.

Use the lessons learned and emerging models from previous phases to join a new foundation and a way forward.

These phases are not sequential. As seen in Figure 1, the phases may overlap. Mr Howard said that in extremely disruptive times, it is possible to think about the renewal phase, even as we face the response to triage and recovery. In fact, for executive leaders, he said it’s not just possible – it’s essential.

Successful resets also create organizational resilience. As organizations eliminate weaknesses and amplify the strengths of their business and operating models, they will be better positioned to withstand the next disruption.

“In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19, any return to business could easily be followed by another round of response, recovery, renewal, so the imperative is to absorb the lessons learned quickly and build change. sustainable business and operating models, ”said Howard.

Create a resilient business model

Business leaders must first determine exactly where and how the crisis has spread and broken existing patterns and where the risks and opportunities lie. Senior and functional leaders need to work around an agile, options-based scenario planning protocol that they can use to identify significant uncertainties and assess them according to their importance for the company’s short- and long-term future.

In the Renewal phase, leaders must take the opportunity to reset or rebuild their business models and operations for a new reality. Gartner highlighted plausible post-pandemic pathways such as resizing, reinventing, reverting, reducing, and retiring (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Post-pandemic planning framework

“For some, the pandemic has forced business and operating models to the breaking point. Organizations will eventually reduce or permanently withdraw some activities. This could include moving business capabilities into the ecosystem (eg SaaS) or completely eliminating a product or service. In some cases, retirement is long overdue, “said Mr Howard.

“Others could reinvent themselves by re-concentrating their ability. Think of government service centers that have been forced to offer their services remotely. They may be able to withdraw some of their physical centers and instead focus on their new digital capabilities, ”said Howard. “And others, such as the digitized parts of an organization, may resurface permanently.”