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  CEOs on what they've learned after a year of COVID-19 

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March 11, 2021

To mark one year since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, we asked CEOs in various industries about their greatest challenges and what they have learned in these extraordinary 12 months.

The hard-learned lessons can serve as an inspiration for other leaders. Here are three action items from each leader after a full year battling the COVID-19 crisis.

View the Big Picture on ISSUU One year of COVID-19: Lessons and challenges for CEOs published in IESE Business School Insight 158.

Raúl González
CEO EMEA, Barceló Hotel Group

  • Redefine your priorities. You may have to modify your objectives, KPIs and work groups, among other areas.
  • Arm yourself with an objective and informed opinion about the current state of affairs and about possible future scenarios.
  • Keep your organization calm and your teams motivated through constant communication that is proactive, sincere and empathetic.

Romaine Seguin
President for the Americas Region, UPS
  • Focus on your customers and their needs.
  • Find new solutions and be creative. It's about innovation, focusing on the future.
  • Take a few moments to say thanks to your team in a genuine way as they are working harder than ever.

Paco Ybarra
CEO Institutional Clients Group, Citi
  • Think about how digitalization is affecting your business model: Is it just accelerating things or is there a significant step-change in adoption that requires a more fundamental strategic response?
  • Define where your new normal is and what it means for talent acquisition, training and flexibility for remote versus office-based work.
  • Identify what the increased preference for disruptors in capital markets means for your business model and strategy: Do you collaborate with them? Do you simplify and focus on businesses that have a clearer, stronger competitive position?

Ricardo Castrillo
CEO Spain, Ferrer
  • Apply new AI technologies to the entire value chain, especially to R&D. That will reduce the time it takes to innovate and lower the rate of failure.
  • Personalize the customer experience, backed up by data. That will improve your value proposition and benefit patients.
  • Develop the talent you need to make your purpose a reality. Your team, the community and society-at-large will benefit.

Pharmaceutical sales 2019-2020, in billions of euros

*Price ex manufacturer
Source: IQVIA MIDAS; IQVIA Global Market Insights

This article is based on:  CEOs on what they've learned after a year of COVID-19
Year:  2021
Language:  English