Like many of you I suspect, I have become more conscious of risk. At the outset of the COVID crisis, the prospect of having to go almost anywhere made me feel uncomfortable. This was especially true of the poor innocent supermarket. Perhaps I will have similar misgivings about offices, albeit to a lesser extent, when or if they ever again become a significant feature of how we do business.
There is considerable ongoing debate concerning the nature of the economic crisis that has been triggered by COVID-19, what the recovery will look like and how in can be best nurtured. The discussion typically begins with an assessment of whether the current recession will be shaped like a V, a U or heaven-forbid, an L, and proceeds to offer various options on how best to stimulate recovery. The economy, we are told can be nursed back to full health.
Whilst they may not have attracted as much news attention as their sponsors, pension funds have also had to confront the impact of the crisis on both their funding levels and how they face into the future. Here's a non-exhaustive list of issues that require reflecting upon:
If, like me, you “enjoy” your politics then recently there has been much to be entertained by. But in the midst of all this, it could easily have escaped the attention that we appear to have moved onto the next stage of the COVID-19 crisis. This has incorporated the taking of relatively modest decisions aimed at restarting our economies. We have been giving considerable thought to the challenges this poses for businesses which we would like to share.
I am a member of a management consultancy focused on the financial industry. I enjoy what I do.
It certainly has been an interesting few months, during which I have had many conversations with clients, prospects and peers. In addition, I have participated in quite a few webinars, some internal others external, and all of them fascinating because of the insights I have drawn from them. There are a few I have picked up recently that I find especially thought provoking.
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.
Organisations have had a lot to cope with in response to COVID-19. For many people this has resulted in a shift to homeworking, which has been a relatively smooth change for some, less so for others.
But with the peak of the outbreak having been declared, attention is now shifting to the “what next” phase. From the conversations we have been conducting with our clients, we note there are broadly three different visions of future work patterns leaders are having to consider.
Arguably, if ever there was a time to think outside the box it is now. As leaders we should be using some of the time being freed up in our diaries to strategize. The process should begin by accepting that we will never have all the answers and so should involve all our colleagues who can and will want to help. The key question to be addressed is what the major implications of the COVID-19 crisis will be for our businesses and whilst it’s impossible be sure, there are three potential risks that stand out.
Organisations, regardless of the industry they are in, are currently facing headwinds they have not previously experienced. The individuals within them will be shaken by this and human nature, being what it is, dictates that we will all want things to return to normal as soon as possible. But the likely duration of this crisis means that the behavioural changes we are experiencing are likely to be with us for a long time. That makes it likely they will become embedded in our organisations. It can be observed that two broad behavioural scenarios are already emerging.
What a few weeks it’s been.
For some people, successfully maintaining customer relationships whilst balancing the domestic
priorities associated with homeworking has been their principal focus. For others, it has been
dropping out of their business temporarily having been furloughed or worse still as a result of illness.
For everyone, the past few weeks has involved a deeply uncomfortable period of change.