The COVID-19 crisis is a challenge for all economic participants — investors, companies, the economy and most notably everyday people. Most individuals and entities are rising to the occasion. Investors are protecting investments and seeking safety, and companies are looking to lead and take care of their employees and other assets. But a crisis is also a time for companies, particularly those not up to the challenge, to welcome shareholder input and build consensus around an optimal strategy. It is not a time to use the crisis as an excuse to dust off entrenchment defences and consign shareholders to suboptimal strategies and underperformance. In this article, partners Ele Klein and Aneliya Crawford discuss how companies should responsibly navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.