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Past Events

In Times of Crisis: Stakeholders Take Centre Stage

Erik P.M. Vermeulen


We are experiencing unprecedented changes in our world. Free movement has stopped. Airports are empty. Countries are on lockdown. The coronavirus outbreak has already had an enormous impact on businesses. To use the words of the former Unilever CEO: “Companies, small and large, are at risk as the global economy has hit the pause button.”

The coronavirus crisis forces companies to reconsider their business models. Business-as-usual doesn’t work anymore. There are many questions and uncertainties. What should companies do when their primary revenue streams are being impacted? What should companies do to overcome supply chain issues? In general, what’s the best response to the coronavirus?

While businesses regroup and rethink their strategies, stakeholder engagement is of utmost importance: (1) Should companies pay a dividend to investors in times of crisis?, (2) How can companies take immediate and effective action to protect their workers and customers and (3)What can companies do to mitigate business risks, such as stressed supply chains?

Session Summary

How a company engages its stakeholders in this turbulent period is a test for business, and it is one it must pass.


To survive in today’s digital world, corporations have to be more stakeholder oriented by accelerating the future, resetting their business and unlearning what they have learned.


It is not only about profits; it is about purpose. If companies want to stay relevant, we must embrace stakeholder capitalism.


All groups of stakeholders, be it the shareholders, employees or customers, must be given equal priority. Failure to do so will draw negative reaction to the company and hurt its reputation.


The 5 components to a meaningful stakeholder approach are Culture, Community, Collaboration, Co-creation and Communication. These components will be able to transform the company’s hierarchical structure to an ecosystem approach.


Dr Ong Hock-Chye, Auditor General, Asian Development Bank

Wow, a brilliant presentation!

Dato’ Vaseehar Abdul Razack, Senior Associate, Kets de Vries Institute

Very good presentation.

Puan Sri Datuk Seri Rohani Abdullah, AHR Sdn. Bhd.

TQ Erik & Nadiah. great session, different from the usual.

Dato’ Nonee AshirinIndependent DirectorBoustead Holdings Berhad

Thanks Erik. Great session! Its a reboot for companies and we should take on the opportunity.

Datin Noor Lily Zuriati Abdullah, former director, Petronas Chemical India Ltd

Thanks to ICDM for having Erik on board. it’s always so enlightening to hear his presentation, packed with very interesting and current knowledge, while highlighting practical issues.

Mostaff MatesanwaSenior Manager, Adults in Scouting & Volunteers DevelopmentWorld Scout Bureau

Thank you for a very informative presentation.

Grace Yap, Head of Legal & ComplianceCapitaland Malaysia

Erik as always never fails to disappoint us. Thanks Erik and ICDM.