The old normal strikes back

14 May 2020 Posted by: Patrick Woods Posted In: Crisis management

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So, we are entering the next stage in the battle against COVID-19. Whilst we debate the merits of
new versus old slogans, seen as important to surprisingly many, real change is underway with more
fresh air time and garden centre re-openings to “look forward” to. Not here in Scotland though. We
move at a slower, more measured pace.

Central to move to stage two is the relative importance of economic health, which is being elevated
a notch, with employers being encouraged to get people back to work where possible. A shift away
from homeworking has commenced as we seek to regain, in a phased manner, as much as possible
of our cherished normality. It will be interesting to observe just how much of this element of the
“new normal” survives in the longer term.

For those who may not yet have had the opportunity to critically evaluate how effective their crisis
management plans, and procedures have been, this process will begin soon enough. The outcome of
this soul-searching will produce a mixture of self-congratulation and important lessons to be
learned. The result is likely to be some reconfiguration of crisis management plans to ensure
organisational robustness is improved still further so that we can seek to do even better next time
round.

Whilst this approach may have merit, it risks falling into the age-old trap of preparing ourselves for
the last crisis. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that the next crisis will not look like its
predecessor and that it is likely to come from the most unexpected of sources.

Therefore, if we are to ready ourselves and our organisations for the next crisis, doesn’t it make
sense to commence our planning at the beginning?

Crisis Management Webinar  Keeping confidence in uncertain times This one hour Webinar included two prominent speakers giving their vision on confidence in times of crisis  View the summary