What will our world look like after the coronavirus crisis? Will the economy recover? Which companies will survive the crisis? Do we need to restructure, or can we simply go “back to normal”? These questions were at the heart of the launch event for Frankfurt School’s new Corporate Performance & Restructuring Club (CPR Club) on 2 December – a hybrid event attended by more than 100 students, alumni and experts in corporate transformation and restructuring. The guest speaker at the kick-off event was Professor Burkhard Schwenker, Senior Fellow at Roland Berger GmbH, whose keynote speech explored “Scenarios for a post-COVID world”. The event laid a solid foundation for a new, growing community in this highly topical space.
In his presentation, Professor Schwenker outlined four possible scenarios: the “ideal world” scenario, in which the economy recovers and everything returns (more or less) to the way it was before the pandemic; the “valley of tears” scenario, characterised by waves of bankruptcies and major restructuring, with only a few companies surviving the crisis and continuing as before; the politically enforced “value transformation” scenario, whereby large-scale interventions by politicians and business players impose changes in attitudes towards climate neutrality and sustainability – and finally, the “new horizon” scenario, in which society and business are intrinsically motivated to strive for greater sustainability. The future, he observed, is uncertain, making leadership much more challenging. It is time to “think different” – to break with the management mainstream. Professor Schwenker teaches Strategic Management and other subjects at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management; in his consulting work, he focuses on strategy, organisation and corporate transformation.
After the talk, the audience discussed the various post-COVID scenarios and made the most of the subsequent get-together in Frankfurt School’s Executive Lounge to cultivate new contacts. The CPR Club is an initiative by the Alumni Relations and Degree Programmes teams in collaboration with the Centre for Performance Management & Controlling. By holding regular events and meetings to discuss subjects related to corporate restructuring, transformation and performance management, the Club aims to act as a central forum for young professionals, experts, executives, professors and business partners. The CPR Club will also further strengthen the Frankfurt School community and network.