Covid-19 has changed the world, for everyone. In order to survive, businesses have had to become agile in order to adjust. Some have had to completely change their business models. It’s become clear that going digital is critical for organizations adapting quickly enough. The pandemic is not over yet, but it’s already clear that there are lots of lessons to be learned.
Act Swiftly, but Have a Plan That Informs Your Decision-Making
Countries like Taiwan moved very quickly at the start of the pandemic. They were among the first to mandate mask-wearing, testing, and contact tracing. They already had a plan for an emergency situation like this, which could be quickly adapted. Companies should look at the business crisis plans and make sure they have some plans in place for different emergencies.
Plan for the Unexpected
Planning shouldn’t focus on specific risks. Your plan should be able to be adapted to cope with unexpected things. Nobody predicted how extensive Covid would be and how fast it would escalate, but businesses that had a flexible plan were better able to respond than those without.
Put a Crisis Communications Team in Place and Drill Them Regularly
Communication with all your stakeholders, including employees, business partners, regulators, and customers, is essential during a crisis. However, it’s often done badly. It’s easy for messages to get muddled and for confusion to spread. Set clear roles and processes to follow, and the right people have the proper training. It might also help to read this article from Jozef Opdeweegh about the importance of trust.
Keep up With Testing and Simulation
If you don’t know it will work, it probably won’t. A crisis is stressful, and the last thing you need is a response that has to be changed. Regular tests and simulations are the only way to make sure that your business is ready to respond.
Look Carefully at Your Supply Chain
Complicated supply chains can increase your vulnerability. A disaster that impacts any part of your chain will impact every part of the chain, and this needs to be understood and planned for.
Work With Experts
Business continuity planning is a job for a specialist, so make sure you work with one. Have a work-area recovery facility is important too. This is needed not just for disasters but can also be used to help cover social distancing requirements.
The pandemic has shown just how essential digitalization plays in enabling a business to be agile and have a quick response to unexpected events. This is about more than just technology. Digitalization also has to include a new process framework that will enable you to respond quickly, whether to disasters or opportunities. Get a digital strategy in place if you don’t have one already.
Overall, it’s clear that companies need to build resilience right into their DNA. If you’re going to be sustainable, you need to be able to react quickly to change and recover quickly from a disaster.