16 April 2020

How do you deal with a crisis that is different from all the ones we have experienced before when you are the head of a European group? How can you take many important decisions quickly without having either hindsight or the resources usually available?

CEO of the Lefebvre-Sarrut group, European leader in legal and tax knowledge (Dalloz, Edition F.Lefebvre, etc.), Olivier Campenon gave us his answer, summarised in his five priorities:

I :  Employee Health

  • Implement teleworking for all those who can and maintain safe working distances for those who still have to go to the office;
  • Stay in constant contact with each employee and accompany them during this period (setting up a psychological support team). A survey of all employees showed that the vast majority of them are managing well during this period. Nevertheless, 20% complain about containment and its impacts.

II : Business Continuity

  • We had 2,600 people who had to move to teleworking in a few days across Europe, with the right equipment and secure remote access (VPN);
  • The very high level of news related to the situation and the many orders issued by the State makes this period very intense for many of our editors who have to analyse and comment on them for a better understanding of all.

III : Client Support

  • They’re housebound, too!
  • The answer was to quickly establish a telephone link to find out their priority expectations and adapt the tools so that they could access them from home. Most of the editorial content is available online and most of the books and magazines are available in .pdf and e-book formats;
  • As face-to-face training activities ceased overnight, we have developed solutions based on webinars and e-learning;
  • Last but not least, we have decided to launch the first legal and tax information hub dedicated to COVID-19, which offers free access to all the relevant news with commentary: covid19.lefebvre-sarrut.fr

IV : The economic situation of the company

  • The situation has led us to reduce our costs: marketing, training and recruitment freeze;
  • We have set up ‘partial activity’ in countries where this is possible. Advice to managers: document your steps well for possible future administrative requests.

V : And tomorrow – from May 11th in France

  • De-confinement will take place gradually and must be well prepared to ensure the safety of all: flexible hours, layout of offices, meeting rooms, many subjects to be studied carefully;
  • It is still too early to draw all the lessons from this crisis, but many certainties have been disproved: i.e. ‘It is impossible to do this or that from a distance, …’.
  • The experience of teleworking on such a scale will change the way we work in the future;
  • To accompany our customers: first by listening to them even more and by offering them services adapted to this new environment which will inevitably be more digital. So for us, being flexible and innovative, accelerating our digital transformation for more adaptability and a better customer experience.

In conclusion, this situation demonstrates, if proof were needed, the importance of communication to keep in touch even at a distance, and the strength of the collective to find solutions. Finally, it is an opportunity for each one of us and all of us together to restart on a new basis.

2020 04 16 Webinar FBCCI Lefebvre Sarrut (003)

Thank you very much Olivier for having inaugurated our Covid-19 & Business MasterClass series and shown the way with the authority, discernment and humility that is required in this unprecedented situation.

Olivier Campenon : CEO of the Lefebvre-Sarrut Group

With more than 25 years of corporate management experience at BT (ex British Telecom), Deutsch Telekom, Siris and AT&T, Olivier has acquired a solid experience of the digital world and its multiple implications on all sectors of the economy.

Olivier is also Vice-President of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce, and was President for several years, in particular at the time of the Brexit vote and its first consequences.



Masterclass Covid-19 & Business O.Campenon 2