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11 Apr 2020

NBlog April 11 - NZ lockdown day X of N


There's a slew of social media posts promoting business continuity management, resilience, ISO 22301 and the like, right now, during COVID-19. 

That's like promoting birth control to a family of twenty. It's 20-20 hindsight.

Now is the time to promote the planning and preparations needed to cope with the aftermath of COVID-19, taking account of things such as:

  • Lingering uncertainties/doubts about business, the economy, life, health, management and workforce capabilities/competence, supply chains ... whatever 
  • Inertia - the additional effort needed to spin-up to normal speeds after the go-slow 
  • Low morale resulting from isolation depression, sickness, stress, over-work etc.
  • Lack of motivation to 'get back into the swing of things' as if nothing happened
  • Various adjustments to the new working, home and social life
  • Coping with losses of all sorts (money, people, jobs, opportunities ...)
  • Realisation (for some) that working from home beats working from work
  • Familial, cultural and social factors
  • Long term effects such as paying back the loans needed to get through
  • Learning hard lessons from the incident, making genuine efforts to improve business continuity arrangements for the next one e.g. investing in risk management, resilience, contingency, security, change management 
  • Introspection (busily getting our own house in order) diverting attention from the (changed) outside world - new challenges, new opportunities
  • The practicalities of getting back into the nine-to-five routine and dealing with a backlog of problems, deferred work, various mini-crises and shortages etc.
Things will eventually settle down into the (new) normal. Organizations that make the transition from COVID-19 crisis to post-crisis more effectively will be in a stronger position than those that struggle with it, so what should we be doing now? 

Well, thinking about and talking through such issues is a good start, not least because it forces people to think forward ... and that's half the battle. 

For bonus marks, how about exploring, evaluating, creating and exploiting new opportunities through novel strategies, putting the emphasis even more firmly on the dawning future world before us. Like for instance, attracting and recruiting the cream of workers laid off by failing firms during the crisis, redeploying existing resources and reviewing priorities. 

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