The world is living unprecedented times, COVID-19 has shaken some structures, and nobody really knows what the next day - or week-will look like. Right now, it is uncertain whether we will see larger and/or more frequent outbreaks, and so it is critical that businesses have a crisis management strategy.
Every company right now is facing the challenge of keeping the organization on track when it feels like all the emphasis is on the crisis. It is not an easy task, but it is one that can be faced with strong leadership and making sure we have a robust Crisis Management Strategy – a set of steps / guidelines / checklists to find the compass back to your destination.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a checklist for businesses on how to plan for pandemic influenza. The original file can be found here, and an adapted copy can be found at the end of this article. That can be a useful resource to evaluate if we are tackling the situation from every angle.
However, there are some basic action items that can be applied to almost any company and are strongly recommended for any crisis:
1. Set an A-Team to manage the crisis
- Select 5-7 key players
- Define mission
- Define roles and responsibilities
- Define authority levels
2. Create a Communication Plan
- Identify reliable data sources:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Company policies
- Define how data / education will be communicated as well as frequency
3. Weather the storm with strong leadership
- Be present
- Be positive
- Understand crisis management is their job
- Keep your organization on the right track - The ship needs to continue to move forward even if it’s a little bit damaged
We need to become more resilient and competitive in the complex and uncertain business of business. Once the crisis is over, focus on knowledge management: document and improve your Crisis Management Strategy because you need to be ready for the next one.
Here at EPIC we hope everybody stays safe, and hopefully this Pandemic will be under control sooner rather than later. In the meantime, let a robust Crisis Management Strategy get you back on the right track.
If there is any topic that you’d like to hear, please let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to work on it!