From Brexit to viral pandemic, “black swans” are becoming the new normal — and every organisation needs to respond to big events outside its control. To do so, your board needs to know what’s happening — and here’s how to get the basics right.
How do you unpack external drivers?
There are three questions you should cover:
1. What has triggered this paper?
First, state the trigger. What’s the context, and what has happened?
2. What notable development has occurred?
Then, unpack the nature of what’s occurred, or is likely to occur. Explain the materiality: how big is this, and what’s the impact on reputation and/or financials? Give a sense of timings: when is this event going to happen, and how quickly we need to respond? End with said response: what intervention do you recommend?
3. What are the implications?
Finally, take a view on what this means. In the short term, for our in-year plans and numbers, but also longer term. How are these external forces going to change our strategy, and is it still valid?