By

Simon Pangrazio

Business Unusual: Limiting Disruption Through the Outbreak

In the face of the very serious Novel Coronavirus (now officially called COVID-19) that has tragically taken many lives, caused major health concerns, and disrupted businesses and daily life, organizations are being closely watched for how quickly and decisively they have acted to mitigate its possible impact. Having a clear and effective business continuity plan (BCP) and communicating frequently, transparently and clearly are playing a central role. WE and WATATAWA have been working with multiple clients around the world as they deal with the current health crisis, and we thought it would be useful to share some key learnings that have emerged so far. BEING PREPARED IS KEY TO DECISIVE ACTION Many countries have pandemic and other crisis response readiness plans at a national level. Companies should also have contingency plans for business continuity and to protect the health and well-being of their employees and other stakeholders. It’s common sense, but already knowing what to do is critical to being able to act fast when needed — and that is fundamental to whether an organization will be seen as having acted responsibly. The base for the BCP should be the mapping of scenarios with the potential to disrupt business as usual and pose risks to an organization’s assets, operations and people. It is important within these scenarios to have a gradient of risk — including thinking worst case — and proportionate actions that can be taken. It should be clear who is responsible for activating the plan and for implementing its recommended actions. In the case of COVID-19, typical important steps have included: Ensuring employees are aware of the risks and measures being taken in real time Relaying on a regular basis advice from the...
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