9 Questions for organisations to consider when responding to COVID-19…

The current environment has disrupted our lives and how we live it. Leaders must consider carefully and swiftly how they manage through these times.

Whilst there are great risks, there are also opportunities.

Most importantly, society requires us to rebound and re-purpose ourselves to respond effectively and efficiently.

Following are some of my thoughts…I welcome your feedback.

CALIBRATE PURPOSE…using first principles.

Is the WHY that got us started and kept us going still relevant today?
Sometimes in a crisis, it pays to stay the course (and stick to the knitting), at other times disruptions offer us an opportunity to review the status quo.

1. Analysing the current environment, what are the new problems to be solved, the jobs to be done, the gains to be had and the pains to be alleviated?
Are there new opportunities that have arisen now or about to arise? For how long? Has our risk profile changed? If so, how significant? Is it long term? Supply and demand chain assessment?

2. What is our comparative competence as an organisation and how can we/should we respond?

3. Where and how can we create value?
Can we apply our expertise in new markets, products or services? Where should we direct our focus?

PEOPLE FIRST…

How can we best serve our people – inside the organisation (our employees and partners) and outside (our customers and non-customers)?
Have we done enough to keep our people safe and well? Are our communications – content and frequency – adequate?

4. What are our values and behaviours and how do we stay true to them in this crisis? What lead indicators should we look out for, and address?

5. How do we re-deploy our people to maximise their strengths now and in the short-term?
Are we providing support structures for emerging weaknesses and stress points?
Are there any redundant jobs, divisions or processes – that need re-direction or termination?

6. Does everyone understand their unique contribution to purpose in this fast-changing environment?
What new skills and people do we need now and in the near-term?

ACHIEVING PERFORMANCE…

What must we do next?
Once we’ve taken care of our people, and whilst we continue to do so, we all have an obligation to perform – for the greater good and for those around us.

7. Do we all have the appropriate information?
Have we considered optimal, worst-case and new-horizon scenarios? Have we modelled financials and cash-flows? Do we have enough resources, or do we need to borrow/re-source? Solvency?

8. Does everyone have clarity on their empowerment to execute?
Frequency of meetings and reporting? Do we need to revise our team structures and cross-functions?

9. What goes on the scoreboard and how often should we check it?
What are our goals, targets, controls, indicators (qualitative & quantitative)? What is our sprint-cycle for achieving our immediate performance objectives?

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