The Corona Crisis PESTLE, or

Trends we see now that will affect us in the future

► PART 1: Politics

Andy Grove once said: “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them.”

McKinsey (04.2020): ‘Under high levels of uncertainty, you need to operate at high speeds. You will need to cycle through the playbook regularly. Bias toward speed rather than perfection; and the sooner you start, the better. Accept that the first pass won’t be 100 percent right but that you are going to get better answers after each iteration. Scenarios will be refined and refreshed, and more information will surface as time unfolds. Some things will drop out; others will be accelerated. Evolve your way to a more sophisticated answer.’ McKinsey (04.2020): ‘Developing scenarios brings immediate benefits. It allows you to bound uncertainty into manageable and measurable boxes, reducing confusion, and to sort out what is truly unknown and what really matters. You can identify, with confidence, the no-regret moves with which you should promptly proceed while creating a clear structure to use when working through options to handle a range of possible outcomes. Finally, it enables you to identify the signals that will be early markers that a scenario is coming to pass.’

In three sequential parts we will present you information from various sources and authors on which temporal changes will turn into permanent, thus forming the next normal. To make this information meaningful, we structure it into the framework of C-crisis PESTLE Analysis.

Following the PESTLE, a sound SWOT analysis of your business is to be made. And we leave it up to you. In case you need our support, review the free-of-charge business services PrEXCELerator Bulgaria together with Businesshubs provide to lockdown businesses till Sept. 1.

McKinsey (04.2020) articulates it very straight forward: ‘One approach we have found useful is to start by developing a clear view on how the primary threat or opportunity that you face (for example, macro level and industry trends, operations, and regulation) could evolve. Then think through how the evolution of that threat or opportunity could affect your business performance. Running this loop a few times helps you acquire a nuanced view of how the environment is likely to change.’ McKinsey (04.2020): ‘…a crisis of this scale brings seismic shifts, changing the expectations for business and creating new opportunities to innovate.’

In PART 1 we focus on the Political aspects of the new normal alongside with some Legal aspects. We list all new trends in the political realm and cite respective sources where you can delve into each one deeper.


Professionalism is fancy again Dnevnik (20.03)

National Priorities vs. Solidarity among different stakeholders 

McKinsey  (04.2020) perceives dealing with the corona crisis challenges only through partnerships between the government and the private sector. 

The right circumstances for quick introduction of new legislation

Politico (19.03): ‘It’s clear that in a crisis, the rules don’t apply—which makes you wonder why they are rules in the first place. This is an unprecedented opportunity to not just hit the pause button and temporarily ease the pain, but to permanently change the rules so that untold millions of people aren’t so vulnerable to begin with.’

Politico (19/03): ‘The second reason is the “political shock wave” scenario. Studies have shown that strong, enduring relational patterns often become more susceptible to change after some type of major shock destabilizes them. This doesn’t necessarily happen right away, but a study of 850 enduring inter-state conflicts that occurred between 1816 to 1992 found that more than 75 percent of them ended within 10 years of a major destabilizing shock. Societal shocks can break different ways, making things better or worse. But given our current levels of tension, this scenario suggests that now is the time to begin to promote more constructive patterns in our cultural and political discourse. The time for change is clearly ripening.’

Truthiness instead of the Truth

Politico (19.03): ‘In 2005, long before Donald Trump, Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness” to describe the increasingly fact-lite political discourse. The oil and gas industry has been waging a decades-long war against truth and science, following up on the same effort waged by the tobacco industry. Altogether, this led to the situation in which the Republicans could claim that the reports about the coronavirus weren’t science at all, but mere politics, and this sounded reasonable to millions of people.’

Politico (19.03): ‘A recognition that government institutions—including those entrusted with protecting our health, preserving our liberties and overseeing our national security—need to be staffed with experts (not political loyalists), that decisions need to be made through a reasoned policy process and predicated on evidence-based science and historical and geopolitical knowledge (not on Trump-ian “alternative facts,” political expediency or what Thomas Pynchon called, in Gravity’s Rainbow, “a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all-round assholery”). Instead of Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, we need to return to multilateral diplomacy, and to the understanding that co-operation with allies—and adversaries, too—is especially necessary when it comes to dealing with global problems like climate change and viral pandemics.

Governmental interference into the market 

BBC (31.03): Around the world governments are taking actions that three months ago looked impossible. In Spain, private hospitals have been nationalised. In the UK, the prospect of nationalising various modes of transport has become very real. And France has stated its readiness to nationalise large businesses.

Politico (19.03): ‘Private pharmaceutical firms simply will not prioritize a vaccine or other countermeasure for a future public health emergency until its profitability is assured, and that is far too late to prevent mass disruption. The reality of fragile supply chains for active pharmaceutical ingredients coupled with public outrage over patent abuses that limit the availability of new treatments has led to an emerging, bipartisan consensus that the public sector must take far more active and direct responsibility for the development and manufacture of medicines. That more efficient, far more resilient government approach will replace our failed, 40-year experiment with market-based incentives to meet essential health needs.’

Capital (03.04): ‘Some industries may be managed as cartels for a short time, thus stabilizing prices and manufacturing processes. This way larger companies will not be able to take advantage of their size. COVID-19 will not have long-term effect only on society and restricting people. The virus will change the whole global business structure.’

Lost of individual freedom rights

Dnevnik (29.03): ‘I hope that all of us will soon realise that when allowing the state to control too many aspects of their life, even with the best intentions, they lose their freedom.’ 

Vesti (30.03): Rather than strictly tracking the contact people, European governments imposed the most though measures since WWII which restricted personal freedom. Though people are isolated, the contamination threat continues to be very high, because it is not clear who is ill, and who’s not. At the same time personal freedom is almost completely restricted; economies are paralyzed, and the telecom operators send information to the state authorities in direct contradiction to the EU GDPR policy.   

We anticipate that our governments will protect not only our health, but our freedom as well. And when the C-crisis is over, we have to analyse how we got this results, and what we could have learnt from Singapore. 

Dnevnik (31.03): The most important thing for each government is to inspire the feeling that everything is under control. Closing borders in an almost mystical way persuades people that firstly, the government cares for something, and second, it is a way to solve the problem.  This is why in the latest weeks we find ourselves in a situation when EU is suspended. Borders are closed for people, goods, rules, and norms. Democracy is suspended, too. Currently, no ‘street politics’ is possible; there is no any meaning in opposition in any country.’  

Forbes (13.04): ‘But as effective as the utilisation of smart cities appears to be …, the ramping up and expansion of smart city capabilities raises some serious questions for the post-coronavirus future. Because after having developed the capacity to monitor individual and group movements, as well as the ability to trace our contacts, what’s to stop governments from using such capacities to monitor us all under more normal circumstances? What’s to stop them from using smart city technology to monitor and suppress protests and political dissidents?’`

Already, figures such as Edward Snowden have warned that the coronavirus pandemic could end up giving governments invasive new surveillance and data gathering powers. Speaking via video-link at the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival a couple of weeks ago, Snowden suggested that new powers may remain in place after the pandemic has subsided.

“Five years later the coronavirus is gone, this data’s still available to them–they start looking for new things,” Snowden said. “They already know what you’re looking at on the internet, they already know where your phone is moving, now they know what your heart rate is. What happens when they start to intermix these and apply artificial intelligence to them?”

As Smith adds, what’s needed is for a serious debate and discourse on data collection to take place once the coronavirus pandemic has ended. Indeed, because if we don’t have such a debate, we may end up replacing an overt health crisis with a more insidious privacy and civil liberties crisis.


► Already published:

Scenario Planning for lockdown business people, or What to do till the dust in the air settles

Cinemas are closed till real life feels like a movie, or Which trends during the corona crisis are clear

The Corona Crisis PESTLE, or Trends we see now that will affect us in the future (in 3 parts)

PART 1: Politics

► Next comes:

PART 2: Economics

PART 3: Social | Technological

Race against Time, or What to do right now as soon as possible?

The RE-gnosis, or How to bridge the gap from the future to the present?


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