#WayForward with Matthias Schranner, CEO Schranner Negotiation Institute, Zurich, Switzerland

In the #WayForward series, CEOs tell us what’s on their mind in coronavirus times. Read how Matthias Schranner, CEO Schranner Negotiation Institute, sees things.

Matthias Schranner #WayForward visual

Thanks to our Hong Kong office, we had an idea early on about what was going to hit the world. I made a sharp stop. We had to let some people go and now have 42 staff in Zurich, New York, Dubai and Hong Kong. We also cut our marketing spendings to 0. Our on-site seminar business has come to a standstill but we were able to take 30% of the current business online and will deliver on 70% of the deals that were already signed later in the year. Overall, we will more than make up for the dive in fall when the consequences of the crisis will be negotiated.

My biggest concern is that there might be a second wave. While that would bring us even more work and, therefore, a growth opportunity for our consulting business, I really hope this doesn’t happen. The consequences for our society would be too severe and sad.

In an extraordinary situation like this one, I recommend CEOs to talk with trustworthy people who are not part of their inner circle. You need fresh perspectives from outside your bubble. Then make your decisions and do not hesitate to implement them. At all.

Matthias on the new normal for his businesses: “We are reprioritizing and reworking parts of the curriculum of our seminars because the next normal requires us to help our trainees to deal with uncertainty much more than before. The assessment and handling of risks will become a crucial pillar of success for most professional decision-makers from now on forward. Also, many companies will struggle and be in dire need of financing. We, therefore, are taking our Mergers & Acquisitions expertise to the next level.”

Matthias on keeping a clear head: “In a crisis, most humans are emotionalized. Fear. Anger. Similar to negotiation, in a crisis you need to detach yourself from the emotion. One way I do that is by going back to business ideas and plans I wrote before an emotional situation hit us. That’s the sober me that saw things much more clearly. I then reprioritize elements – keep what’s important, get rid of what doesn’t serve us anymore.”

Matthias on what he learned during his 17 years as a policeofficer: “As a CEO, you need to think before you decide. I learned that as a police officer. In case of an emergency, a bad officer runs to the patrol car, starts the blue light and drives as fast as possible. A good one walks to the car, arrives safely and is mentally ready to do the right thing. Protect yourself from rash action.”

#WayForward Table Of Contents: Click here to get to the #WayForward series’ Table of Contents with all the posts we did with CEOs plus recordings of media events where the WayForward insights are discussed.