Karl Pemberton, chairman of the Tees Valley branch of the Institute of Directors and managing director of Active Chartered Financial Planners, reviews the first three months of the Covid crisis – and looks ahead to the challenges of the next three.
We’re coming up to three months since lockdown began – a full 90 days! Ironically, this is a similar period of time to what some ‘idiots’ (to put it nicely) have been sentenced to for ‘assaulting’ police officers during this time.
To many of us in business, this too may have felt like a prison sentence; restricted on where we can go, what we can do, and ultimately our freedoms are in the hands of others, dictating when we can go back to doing what many of us love.
I summarised May recently as like trying to run through treacle. Possible, but only just! We have to try twice as hard to simply stand still, and three times as hard to make any progress.
That ‘love’ we have for our businesses referenced above ultimately means we find a way of working twice or even three times as hard.
The recent confirmation of the furlough timetable, including flexi-furlough, will give relief, hope and clarity to many planning their returns, so hopefully it allows you all to progress accordingly too.
Ever since furlough was first introduced, this was something I not only raised on behalf of the Institute of Directors’ members, it was something I had been campaigning for on behalf of Teesside businesses. I also see this as a sensible way of ‘weening’ businesses off the scheme that may be in danger of becoming dependent on it.
If we think the last 90 days were tough for directors, I genuinely believe that the next 90 will be just as hard. However, these next ones will depend more on deep strategic thinking, evolving a robust plan, and maintaining an open yet agile mind.
We must keep peddling on as it will be down to us all to get the economy back on its feet again when it’s safe to do so. As such, I have everything crossed that June will be more positive – as I am the eternal optimist.
Keep thinking, keep talking, and to coin a great Teesside word, keep grafting!