The COVID-19 situation undoubtedly took us all by surprise. From politicians, business leaders to scientists, the few that made predictions went mostly unheard and the world was forced into a frenzied lockdown in relatively quick time.

Some organisations may well have been ready, while the majority weren’t. No one should sit back without reflecting on this and it’s not an “I told you so” moment either. Whilst many companies will have coped comparatively well, others will have fallen at the first hurdle. But what you do from now on is what counts. How can you learn, understand and prepare to be more resilient in future?

Unquestionably, many organisations didn’t even have ‘pandemic’ listed on any risk register. Would adding it on there now be just a box-ticking exercise, or would it actually produce something of value? Would it help to reduce the likelihood and impact of such a risk event in the future?

Developing resilience, contingency, a “plan B” should now become a core focus of your company. You should consider how to introduce that redundancy into your network, your operating model and your output so that it can endure a blow but get straight back up again.

Start with that emergency/contingency fund or isolated untouched resource – the survival tin of tricks that can be brought to bear when you need it most. Consider your affiliations with other companies, mutual aid and a co-operative response.

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