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The impacts of the coronavirus are only starting to be fully appreciated.  As we activate crisis plans those who haven’t prepared will be scrambling to determine where to start? This simple risk framework is intended to get you started…

COVID-19 has been an outbreak felt globally, whether it be directly through illness or the restrictions placed on our everyday lives by authorities desperate to stem the tide. Global supply chains are at breaking point and the devastating economic impacts are looking ominous at best.

Where to Start?

When faced with an epic challenge such as COVID-19 it can be daunting to even consider where to start.  In reality, every business will be impacted in different ways.  One way of navigating this situation is through a structured risk management approach, focusing on assessing the impacts of this virus on your business and its stakeholders.  This process provides a logical way to determine both your action plan and your priorities.

  1. First, Identify your stakeholders – employees, customers and suppliers is a good start, but go wider than that, what about regulators, financiers, unions?
  2. Then consider, what is (or could be) the impact on each of these stakeholders?
  3. Based on this impact, what is the consequence to your business?
  4. How likely is this to eventuate?
  5. Based on the impact and likelihood – how big a risk is this?
  6. Where the risk is significant, what are the actions to be taken to mitigate the risk as low as possible.

Such a risk assessment should also consider indicative timelines. Some stakeholders are impacted now and others will be impacted in 2-3 months. Action may be required now to address what could occur down the track.

Meaningful Communications

In most crisis situations, the key criteria for successful navigation is communication.  It is critical that there is a clear plan that defines what our message is, who needs to hear it and who’s responsible for making sure this happens. Importantly, prioritise those impacted rather than broad broadcast messages that lose their meaning. In times of isolation, don’t underestimate the impact of a face to face discussion with your team.  Being there can mean a lot, and in the current environment, an elbow tap or peace sign says so much more that you ever can on email.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Never in my life has this statement been more apt.  We echo Scomo’s sentiment to stay calm in such trying circumstances.  Try not to get caught up in the hype that generates clicks and sells newspapers.  Focus on the facts. Be responsible and listen to the authorities.

Contact us if you would like a template to conduct the risk assessment following the steps above.