Business Continuity in the time of COVID-19 – “Amor … Colera”

Six Key Questions

COVID-19 - the most significant global health and business challenge of our generation.

What matters NOW for business continuity, in the time of COVID-19? PERSPECTIVE – with the first three of six key questions being:

1. What purpose do we serve / what value do we add to our clients?

2. What must we do to preserve the value/service on which our clients/customers rely?

3. What do our clients/customers need from us RIGHT NOW, in the time of COVID-19?

Now more than ever, we need to listen to the experts, trust and have courage to follow their advice.

Now more than ever, respect for our own personal health, the health of those we love and the health of our employees and stakeholder, will shine through the actions we take/don’t take.

Some of my clients, overseeing vital national services, are working through their response on a daily basis to keep services going to consumers and businesses. THANK YOU!

Others global clients have clamped down on internal travel and meetings whilst maintaining client/customer related engagements when those only involve small gatherings.

Most EMEA clients have enforced complete travel bans – for internal and external client meetings.

Respect is due to those who, without Government-imposed lock-downs, have shown ethical leadership by giving their employees permission to work from home. Also to be commended are those that have shut-down or postponed major income-generating events that pose risks to customers and employees.

In that light, underlying the above three questions are two more:

4. Whose interests do we serving as organisations?

5. How does COVID-19 give us/you an opportunity to do that even more?

Beware, businesses that do not balance the interests of shareholders with those of customers and stakeholders at large will not INSPIRE TRUST, might not outlive COVID-19.

Two analogies:

First: To mind comes “Amore en los Tiempos de Colera” (“Love in the time of Colera”), Gabriel Garcias Marquez’s unforgettable fictional novel of opportunity, albeit at a very personal level, in the midst of an unprecedented health-scare in Columbia. The more things change, the more things stay the same. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” (Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849). What is the silver-lining/opportunity in this time of COVID-19 for you to serve your clients/customers? 

Second, on a totally different scale: My granddaughter’s piano teacher delivers lessons to L… every Friday afternoon by FaceTime. In only three months, L… is ready to sit Grade1, playing full tunes remarkably tunefully! Who would have said that music could be taught, that love for an instrument could be instilled, at least initially, virtually? How can you better harness technology to serve your clients in this time of reduced mobility?

The final question, quite simply:

6. How can you/we continue to deliver the service our clients value and require RIGHT NOW, in this time of COVID-19?

Stay safe. Stay focused on the value you add.

At your service, Cora Lynn Heimer Rathbone –