Lead Your Business Through the COVID-19 Era

The COVID-19 has now entered a new critical phase, and the public health system must act decisively to curb growth in the new epicenter outside China.

Clearly, the main focus is and should be on the control and mitigation of the disease itself. But their economic impact is also important, and many companies feel their way of understanding, responding to and learning from rapidly moving events. Revealing each news cycle, we’ll only have a complete review.

Based on our ongoing analysis and support to customers around the world, we have perfected the following 10 courses to address evolving events, communication, extraction and applied to learn.

1. Update the information every day.

Events are unfolding at an alarming rate, and the situation is changing every day. Just a few days ago, it seemed that most of the outbreak was limited to China and was under control. The recent emergence of some fast-growing infection centers outside China marked a new stage and could require new mitigation strategies rather than inclusion. Initially, our team decided to communicate updates every 72 hours, but we moved on to the daily cycle, not only to update the data but also to redefine the overall perspective.

2. Be Careful with the Light Cycle/News Cycle.

News organizations tend to focus on new things rather than on the broader picture, sometimes without distinguishing between hard facts, soft facts, and speculation. Yesterday’s news is likely to reflect your institution’s perception of today’s crisis. When exposed to rapidly changing information, whether a new technology or emerging crises, we have a systematic tendency to initially ignore weak signals and then overreact to emerging problems before we finally take a more calibrated view. When absorbing the latest news, critically consider the source of information before taking action.

3. Do not assume that the Creation of Information is not Systematized.

In our connected world, employees have direct access to many sources of information. Leaders can reasonably conclude that there is so much information and comments outside that they do not need to do anything else. Summarizing facts and implications is invaluable so that you do not waste time debating what the facts are or, worse still, making different assumptions about the facts.

4. Carefully Use Experts and Forecasts.

Specialists in epidemiology, virulence, public health, logistics, and other disciplines are indispensable to interpret complex and changing information. However, it is clear that there are differences of opinion among experts on key issues, such as better containment policies and economic impacts, and that it would be preferable to consult from multiple sources. Each epidemic is unpredictable and unique, and we are still learning about the key features of the current epidemic. We need an iterative and empirical approach to understand what is happening and what works, although guided by expert advice.

5. Constantly Rebuild Your Understanding Of What is Happening.

A broader picture of the situation and a plan to deal with it, once captured on paper, can become a source of inertia. A Chinese proverb reminds us that grand generals must issue orders in the morning and change them in the evening.

But large organizations are rarely so flexible.  Seeing” is essential to learn and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

6. Be Wept out of Bureaucracy.

Controversial, sensitive or high-profile issues often attract scrutiny from a number of other functions, such as senior management, corporate affairs, legal affairs, and risk management. Each question gives advice on how best to communicate, leading to excessively general or conservative opinions and slow and cumbersome processes.

It’s essential to form a small team you can trust and give them enough room for maneuver to make quick tactical decisions. Excessive management of communications can be detrimental to bringing important new information every day.

Use the clock speed of external events as a guide to measuring internal processes, rather than starting with the latter as a die.

7. Make Sure Your Answer is Balanced Between the Following Seven Dimensions:
  • Communication:

Employees may contact conflicting information and be anxious or confused about the best course of action. It is important to communicate policies in a timely, clear and balanced manner. You could deepen your own understanding and take initiatives in unforeseen circumstances, such as employees taking leave in restricted locations or how to deal with contractors.

  • Employee needs:

Restrictions on travel and meetings will generate demand for employee education, health care, daily supplies, etc. You must anticipate and develop solutions for employees and create an information center where employees can find all the information they need.

  • Travel:

Ensure that the travel policy clearly indicates where employees can go, for what reasons, what approvals are required, and when the policy is reviewed.

  • Remote Work:

Clear the policies: where they are applied, how they will work, and when they will review. In some regions, such as China, work from home is rare and requires further explanation is expected.

  • Supply Chain Stability:

Trying to stabilize the supply chain by using secure inventory, alternative sources, and working with suppliers to resolve bottlenecks. Where a rapid solution is not possible, jointly develop plans, implement interim solutions and communicate plans to all relevant stakeholders.

  • Business Tracking and Forecasting:

The crisis is likely to cause unpredictable volatility. Establish a fast reporting cycle so you can understand how your business is affected, where it needs to be mitigated, and how quickly your operations are recovered. performance management, and sooner or later the market will judge which companies are most effective at meeting the challenge.

  • As part of a broader solution:

As a corporate citizen, you need to support others in your supply chain, industry, community, and local government. Consider how your business can contribute, whether it’s in the field of health, communications, food, or more. And their specific skills — in other words, to achieve their goals.

8. Use Resilience Principles in Policymaking.

Efficiency dominates a stable world, and this mentality tends to dominate large companies. But the key goal of managing dynamic and unpredictable challenges is resilience: the ability to survive and thrive through unpredictable, changing, and potential adverse events.

  • Redundancy:

    The acquisition of additional manufacturing capacity helps smooth supply chain fluctuations. In the short term, companies may need solutions that go beyond normal sources, but in the long term, redundancy can be designed.

  • Diversity:

There are multiple approaches to achieving that can be inefficient, but more flexible and resilient in crisis situations. Equally diverse ideas can greatly facilitate the development of solutions. Create a crisis management team with a diverse awareness and have more ideas on possible solutions, especially if corporate culture encourages people to express and respect different points of view. Be careful to handle crises in a one-dimensional manner, as well as a financial or logistical matter, and have your crisis team staffed.

  • Modularity:

In contrast, modular systems (plants, organizational units or supply sources) can be grouped in different ways) provide greater flexibility.

When Toyota’s main supplier of brake valves was burned a few years ago, the supply was restored in the short and long term due to the ability to exchange production between suppliers, even for very different components. Ask how to reconnect the supply system in a modular way.

  • Evolutionary:

Systems can be optimized and achieve maximum efficiency, or they can build evolutionary, constantly improving based on new opportunities, problems or information. Responses to dynamic crises like COVID-19 focus on evolution. Default answers are likely to be incorrect or become obsolete over time.

But it is possible to iterate and learn a more efficient solution. Although many lessons will be learned after reviewing, now do something to see what works and the surrounding outcome may be the most effective short-term strategy.

  • Caution:

We cannot predict the course of events or their impact on COVID-19, but we can imagine seemingly credible negative scenarios and test resilience in these cases. We can implement a broad global epidemic, a multiregional epidemic, and a rapidly contained epidemic.

The focus has shifted from containing China’s FISH 19 outbreak to preventing its rise in the new epicenter overseas, and we have reached another turning point with great uncertainty.

It would be desirable for companies to review the most pessimistic scenarios and to develop contingency strategies for each situation.

  • Embedding:

Solutions for a single company at the expense of others or neglecting others will cause mistrust and long-term damage to companies. On the contrary, supporting customers, partners, health services and social systems has the potential to create lasting goodwill and trust in times of adversity.

A key factor in dealing with economic pressures is to maintain our values at a time when we are more likely to forget those values.

9. Now prepare for the next crisis.

COVID-19 is not an exceptional challenge, we must look forward to the current epidemic and more epidemics in the future. Our study of organizations’ effectiveness in responding to dynamic crises suggests that a better variable predicts final success: preparing for the next crisis (or the next phase of the current crisis) can now be more effective than an ad hoc response when the crisis actually occurs.

10. Intellectual preparation is not enough.

Many companies run scenarios to create unexpected situations of intellectual readiness.  These risks have changed even in recent days, with the increase in the epicenter of new diseases.

Setting up the war room, with a small dedicated team with the power to decide and execute, can reduce the complexity of the organization.


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