What Business Leaders Do in Times of Global Crisis and Disruption Hero Gradient

What Business Leaders Do in Times of Global Crisis and Disruption

November 30, 2022

Business leaders deal with uncertainties and disruptions all the time. Monitoring and addressing threats from the competition, glitches in the supply chain, and other business-related complications… They all come with the job. Uncertainty does not lead inexorably to calamity.

The job changes and the stakes get higher in the face of disruptions to society at large—like the Ukraine war, the pandemic, and the systemic racism that spurred riots and activism in the US in recent years. These situations levy different challenges on business leaders—sensitive, urgent, dynamic challenges.

There’s pressure to meet the needs of all stakeholders, including employees, consumers, shareholders, and boards—fast. It is not an exaggeration to say that in these situations, business leaders are sometimes called upon to make life-or-death decisions on matters that affect employees and consumers. And there’s pressure to present to the world the organization’s stance on the crisis, meaning that leaders must also make quick judgments that will affect the health and longevity of the organization overall.

How did leaders deal with the crises and disruptions of recent years? We talked with BCG experts to understand the kinds of actions—and interactions—that can carry an organization and its people through crisis.

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