Business Continuity at the time of COVID-19

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. .. it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel

What can we do to not let this serious crisis go to waste? What is your 90-day COVID-19 business continuity plan? How will you continue business and business relationships YET self-isolate, and adopt social distancing? How can you do what you didn’t think possible before? 

As business communities, we have a duty of care to support the economy, to ensure business continuity during and for the post-COVID-19 reality. Far from denying the human tragedy unfolding around us, or the existential threat to certain industries and individual businesses, or the importance of human touch, the opportunity exists to energetically continue engagements, whenever possible, through technology.

Opportunity stares us in the face to accelerate good practices. Four examples:

  1. Reimagine and reframe the value we add through our businesses and the way we operate our businesses – at every stage of our internal and external value chain. What can we stop doing, do less of, do more or, do that we are not doing?
  2. Schedule regular virtual/video exchanges with colleagues, clients, prospects - as well as family and friends. Especially with existing clients, colleagues and teams - for team coaching or action plan reviews and well as fun - this works very well. Think ahead. Set dates for next exchange(s) to maintain momentum and accountability. Communication matters more than ever.
  3. Intentionally and mindfully at the start, during and at the end of virtual times together – agree the aim of the session, draw conclusions at regular intervals, and ask those participating to commit to what they/we take-away and will action. And be inclusive, giving all time to speak.
  4. Use technology platforms to create environments where you can be disciplined around holding each other to account, can support others, can extend collaboration, and can build relationships through fun activities. Examples being used a lot by remotely-located tech start-ups include: Slack to communicate, Google Hangouts or Zoom or Skype or FaceTime to video call, JIRA to manage projects, Google Drive to share documents, Jackbox Party Packs for fun activities. See the following article for a real-life example of how a portfolio of technologies hang together:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …” – so opens Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”.

It most certainly is “the worst of times” for global health, and for some industries that we have loved and that have served us well (most notably airlines, cruise lines, all related to business travel, events, restaurants/pubs/bars/coffee shops, the gig-economy).

It most certainly is “the best of times” for us to make sustainable changes to the way we work. It is a time to positively impact climate change. It is a time to create sustainable environments that stretch us and encourage discipline, that demand trust and mutual support. (A gift: an 8 minute video on “the smell of the place”:

Open for business! Assuring you of my highest attention - at all times! Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone