Only a few knew where Wuhan City, China was on December 28th, 2019.

  1. On December 31st, the World Health organisation was informed that a ‘cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause’ had been detected in Wuhan City.
  2. By January 20th, cases had been reported in Japan, South Korea and Thailand. The first confirmed case was reported in the UK on January 22nd by a UK citizen returning from Wuhan.
  3. On January 30th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a “public health emergency of international concern” January 31st saw the first multiple cases reported in York, UK. On the same day, UK citizens were repatriated to the UK from Wuhan and quarantined.
  4. Feb 14 saw the first ‘homegrown’ COVID-19 case was reported on the African continent in Egypt. By January 22nd, Covid-19 had reached Europe as the Italian authorities reported clusters in Lombardy, Piedmont and Lombardy.
  5. By March 11th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. By March 25th, all EU and EEA countries and more than 150 countries worldwide were affected. By March 12th, supermarket shelves were empty of various products, including soaps, toilette paper and disinfectants. Some UK supermarkets had started to limit the purchase of some items.

In less than 3 months, the world had stopped.

Today, Lockdown has changed how we live. The Government want us back to the office, but the working population is asking why? The social impact of COVID-19 will cripple the economy, according to some commentators, unless we spend our money getting to work. Some say we need to get the economy working again. Others ask did if the economy really stops, or did we divert spending into other areas? Didn’t the economy pause?

Not many could have predicted the impact of COVID-19 in November 2019, but as we approach the Wuhan discovery’s anniversary date, how can we plan for 2021 and beyond?

Everyone bangs on about PESTEL.

How could PESTEL help with COVID-19? Put, had we all acted earlier, we might have been more prepared, but that could have led to panic or worse. Planning requires timing.

But PESTEL can help know as we stabilise ready for the next economy. Pestel is part of strategic analysis. PESTEL is a strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential, and operations direction. Below is a brief and rough explanation of a three-question approach for discovery. This list is not exhaustive, but here are my ‘go-to’ questions to gauge scope.

Once the initial cut has been made, can you create a structure for further Pestel discovery? If not, keep asking questions? No question is irrelevant and no view unimportant? Stop when you have a clear view. Then test and qualify.

This is a rough guide to Pestel analysis. In the coming weeks, we will be exploring the 16 P’s that relate to Pestel in more detail.

For further information and to find out how Big River Solutions can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my colleague, Paul Holden, as we help you navigate 2021 and beyond.