This week, JUST CEO Martin Whittaker sat down with Fortune CEO and president Alan Murray for Leadership Next – Fortune’s podcast on the changing rules of business leadership – to discuss the impacts of coronavirus on corporate America and the ways companies are responding to COVID-19.
“I expect it to be the defining criteria for business performance in 2020,” Martin explained, highlighting JUST’s work to unpack company performance in our Corporate Response Tracker and our efforts to understand the public’s priorities through our ongoing survey work.
Also joined also by Fortune’s Ellen McGirt and Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian, Martin emphasized that while we are tracking and evaluating how companies are responding – from whether they’re raising wages or improving paid leave policies to how they are approaching layoffs – this is not the right moment to say whether what a company is doing is simply wrong. We can’t be “quick to judge today how companies are reacting in survival mode,” he impressed.
But it is the moment for everyone across business and markets to look ahead and ask what kind of future – what “new normal” – we want to create. Returning to business as usual is not an option. In the leadup to the coronavirus crisis, a steady rise in income inequality and stagnating wages starkly showed that our economy was not working for most Americans
“Is that seriously going to go back to the way it was?” Martin posited, “Are we really gonna accept a company that then decides to lower wages or reduce benefits?”
We have an opportunity in the months and years to come to change the way we do things. Listen to Leadership Next for JUST’s take on what the future could hold if corporate leaders, investors, and governments align on a vision that better serves all of business’ stakeholders – and all Americans.