• Adam Hill

Five tactics that resilient organisations take to respond to a crisis

A typical crisis unfolds across three phases: respond, during which the company deals with the present situation and manages continuity; recover, when a company learns and emerges stronger; and thrive, where the company prepares for the “next normal”. The challenge lies in being able to nimbly consider all three phases concurrently and allocate resources accordingly.

During the respond phase, resilient leaders must take specific tactical steps to address any crisis. But most importantly, speed matters. Organisations that can make early adjustments when faced with a crisis, or even better, have already made strategic, workforce and technology investments in capabilities that enhance resilience, will outperform the competition.

Resilient organisations focus on all of these to some degree, not just one or two of them. These often overlap and support one another.

1. Launch a crisis command centre. Planning for eventualities both short and long term will enable the business to pivot effectively. Assess the risks and formulate a response strategy after conducting scenario planning, supported by playbooks and toolkits.

2. Scenario planning & effective forecasting. Develop proactive scenarios with the financial impacts and plans to avoid reacting to developing situations. Supported by removing silos and increasing collaboration. Consider flexible work options, wellbeing and even protection equipment (depending on the industry).

3. Maintain business continuity. Resilient leaders must stay vigilantly focused on protecting financial performance during a crisis, making hard, fact-based decisions. Identify the levers that leaders have available such as discretionary spend reduction, hiring freezes or temporary office/plant closures. Operating cash is essential as it buys the business time to pivot.

4. Create a culture of trust. Lead with empathy, transparency and develop open communication channels. Support your people while they support your strategy. Rapidly assess what work is mission critical and what the focus needs to be.

5. Communicate the vision. Leaders need to develop a clear narrative, being transparent about the current realities, while painting a picture of future plans and inspiring their people to persevere in the meanwhile. Proactive frequent communication with a consistent and clear message is critical.

For further information, including details on how to respond, recover and thrive to accelerate growth, download our full whitepaper.

In our next blog, we’ll be exploring the seven initiatives for organisations entering the recovery and thrive phase, so keep an eye on our social channels where we’ll be publishing details.

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