Many of us are getting back-to-basics during COVID restrictions and assessing what really matters. Some have started growing heirloom tomatoes, making sourdough bread or brewing their own beer.

While these activities are about getting back-to-basics and can have real benefits for your mental health, will they actually improve your post-COVID life?

Knowing your community, doing a thorough review of family finances and budgets, looking at domestic arrangements, sharpening the blades on the lawnmower, cleaning out the fridge and freezer and making sure that we are paying the right amount utilities and services are useful, add value and help you work more efficiently in your home environment.

If you’re already doing your chores efficiently and effectively, then there’s scope to seize opportunities within your domestic situation, allowing us to take advantage of having more time to brew beer or grow those tomatoes.

So, what does this mean for business? Getting back to the basics of an effective crisis management system allows an organisation to focus on what matters – when it counts.

In our eighth COVID Insights series, we studied the responses of 34 companies looking at how they went back-to-basics to focus on what matters and we analysed what made their responses optimised, proactive or reactive.

Optimised businesses had already established a crisis response capability within the normal “day job” of their senior levels of management.

In this case, the basics were already embedded. Having conducted competency assessments around the decision-making capacity of those individuals with a crisis management role, they made sure the right people were in the right place and were empowered to make decisions under pressure. They were also experienced in their roles. So, what really mattered, was having the right people at the right level empowered to stick their neck out and make decisions at the right time.

Because optimised organisations already had the basics in place, they quickly moved to establish subject matter experts into workstreams, to manage issues without delay. They were also able to push support to assets or regions to quickly underpin the higher intentions of the C-Suite. In this case, a focus on prioritising what matters by function meant thinking about how to restore critical functions with the emphasis on priority and not all functions.

This meant business continued, opportunities were seized, and issues were resolved.

In some cases, organisations activated their business continuity planning team immediately allowing the crisis management team to focus their efforts whilst the business continuity team forged ahead.

Proactive organisations moved quickly to form management structures and identify issues. There were awkward initial responses as crisis management teams attempted to implement plans that were not fully tested but they did have plans in place.

Building on their strengths, these organisations were effective at notifying stakeholders and appreciating their perspectives and eventually took the opportunity to expedite an appropriate organisational restructure. The organisational restructures and responses have been initially effective despite some inefficiencies in management decision making and internal communications.

Reactive Organisations failed to see the opportunities available in the utilisation of tried and tested crisis management systems. Rather than allowing those at the right levels to make the right decisions, these boards once again bought in the corporate COVID gunslinger providing too little direction too late leaving external affairs and legal advisors to soldier on with assisting existing management structures in navigating issues.

They failed to see and capitilise on the opportunities available when using a tested crisis management system.

In many cases, reactive organisations failed to react at all and indeed did nothing. They never really got to the basics of setting up the right empowered team for the job. Having lost the PR battle, they face an ongoing loss of reputation, both internal and external, and a reduction in shareholder confidence.

Is your organisation focused on what matters at this critical time? What does optimised look like for your organisation and what are the real basics you need to focus on to get there? Contact us for a confidential discussion about your organisation.

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