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Rethink explained

“Rethink” is BDO’s framework encouraging an objective ‘rethink’ around original business models and commercial assumptions, a framework that can be used to manage business priorities, address issues and leverage thinking:

  1. How to React to the crisis; ensuring that measures are taken to secure business survival in the short term
  2. How to build Resilience throughout the prevailing business environment; safeguarding vital elements of a company where necessary
  3. How to look forward to Realise the future benefits of sensible business decisions taken calmly and pragmatically.

There are no simple answers – and so these three stages can be considered separately to help you deal with the ‘here and now’, or as part of a roadmap to help manage the COVID-19 impact over the medium to long-term.


The way in which companies respond to the initial impact of the COVID-19 crisis, minimising the catastrophic effects on its business operations, employee safety, supply chain and ongoing financial viability.

  • Beginning of the downturn. Initial risks are assessed
  • Immediate crisis management actions are required to ensure employees are safe and healthy, capital is adequate, and suppliers and customers are closely connected with the business
  • Planning is based on Government policy, guidelines and support.


Maintaining business operations during ‘lockdown’ disruption using techniques that allow people, processes and information systems to adapt to changing patterns.

The ability to alter operations in the face of changing business conditions preserving the continuity of the provision of “critical functions” to a firm’s customers.

  • Running the business in ‘lockdown’ / reduced demand and supply.
  • Operations are adjusted and optimised based on customer demand.
  • Business is under control and employees are safe. Capital structure is solid.
  • Regulatory compliance maintained and scenario planning is underway using economic and customer data.


Applying the learnings from key ‘React’ and ‘Resilience’ activities and continuing to adapt.

Successfully adapting to new business models and ways of working needed to address essential and obligatory political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological changes.

  • Future state and business needs are anticipated.
  • The ‘new normal’ of demand and supply is established in the business.
  • Areas for transformation are clear and adaptation is underway.
  • Business is meeting or exceeding expectations.

Summary of Business Issues by Stage