The Institute of Directors-Ghana (IoD-Gh) has asked Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of COVID-19 and replace imports with local goods.
The Institute also asked them to focus on short-term survival strategies in the wake of the pandemic, allowing some 18 months for the dust to settle whilst keeping tabs on global reactions.
This was contained in a communique issued at the close of the Institute's roundtable for board chairs, signed by its President Mr Rockson Dogbegah, and copied to the Ghana News Agency.
The communique said it was important for businesses to conduct COVID-19 impact assessments on their sectors and operations, document strategic mitigation and survival methodologies and ensure sustainable implementation.
It asked businesses to develop immunity through strategic capacity development, adding, “ this must be coupled with a cultural shift, mindset change, behavioral change and a robust change management process including effective communication with major stakeholders as an imperative if businesses must survive."
The communique said it was important for businesses to know that projections for the development of a vaccine for the Coronavirus disease were uncertain, drawing lessons from previous outbreaks like HIV and AIDS, Ebola, SARS, MERS, and TB.
It said that called for adaptability regarding business plans, creation of operational environments with minimal contacts, plan for all types of risks bearing in mind the effects of depreciation of demand and the way forward.
The Institute urged industries to uphold high standards in health and safety protocols, starting with the boards with reduction in regular physical meetings.
The communique also urged employers to develop good relationships with employees and give them information on actual status of businesses to avoid unreasonable demands to minimize the risk of layoffs.
It said it was important for businesses to seek labour experts on account of the high potential for future redundancies and layoffs, stressing that there must be professionalism in dealing with the psychological effects on both internal and external stakeholders.
“Businesses should begin to consider a broader range of skills in candidates who desire to sit on boards" and “current board members must also be trained," it added.
It said the training content for the board members must be informed by sector specific business continuity plans and periodic reviews, which would also address both present and future gaps including underlying risks and unexpected disruptions.
The communique said board agenda should begin to change considerably from the traditional pathways with a keen focus on business robustness and sustainability with risk management as a very critical ingredient.