This is the first of 4 articles over 4 weeks by Barry Urquhart BusinessStrategist.

Resilience campaigns are coming up short.

There is little evidence of participating companies and brand-names “springingback” and returning to their original form (prior to the declaration of apandemic). At best they are learning how to endure the ravages of thecoronavirus-affected economy and marketplace. In most instances they have areduced presence, constrained capacity and diminished tolerance for risk.

Endurance seems to be an appropriate word and concept, providing a moreaccurate context and framework to assess status.

It is laudable that many entities have persisted, materially assisted byFederal, State and local government initiatives and funding.

The challenges and deprivations have been character-building. Lessons havebeen learned, innovations introduced, cost-savings recognised and implemented,while control and choices have been ceded to varying degrees.

A true measure of resilience will be evidenced once government subsidies andfinancial support are withdrawn or substantially reduced. More disturbingwould be the consequences of any second – or third – wave of Covid-19.

The realities and prospects for Victoria, Victorians and a spectrum of thatstate’s corporate identities are scant.


Parallels can be drawn to historical and comparative propositions to businessleaders. In the past they were challenged to develop and implement aresilience strategy for 12 rounds of boxing with Mohammad Ali.

Upon reflection, if successfully deployed, at the conclusion of the fight, onewould be battered and bruised, in need of an extended recovery period and withlittle appetite for a return-bout.

It is doubtful whether one would have been in the frame-of-mind or physicalstate to consider a second bout – or second wave, if you will.

More importantly, doubtless, Ali would have won the match, taken the money andenjoyed the fruits of his skills.


Implicit and inherent, in the promise of many resilience campaigns, arepredictions that entities which “spring-back” and return to their originalform will ‘fit’ the greatly modified marketplace and economy. Unlikely.

Beyond resilience and endurance is renewal. Business re-birthing is an aptterm.

Ideally, it will begin at conception. New will be better than modifying theexisting. The engineering concepts of customised design and built-for-purpose will bear fruit in terms of greater efficiency, effectiveness,competitive edge, sustainability and relevance to prospective customers andclients.

The terms and concepts should apply to organisation structure, processes,supply chains, delivery systems and payment processes and marketing campaigns.

Which should be prioritised? The words of the inimitable Herb Cohen come tomind: “Everything is Negotiable”.

Business owners, managers and team-members should enthusiastically launchthemselves into the endeavour. Moreover, they will need to recognise theimportance of launching the new value-package.

The prospects from these efforts are far greater than those of girding oneselffor resilience or endurance.

Barry Urquhart
Business Strategist
Marketing Focus
M: 041 983 5555
E: [email protected]

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