Business Resilience Post COVID: Adapting To the New Normal
Business Resilience Post COVID: Adapting To the New Normal. The COVID 19 pandemic taught us several lessons, but the most important one has been to ensure business operations and strategy are established on resilience.
In fact, several business continuity plans had been designed for a pandemic, but none was prepared for a scale like this. To be specific, no one could have predicted the global response to this crisis, neither could they have anticipated this level of disruption in all sectors.
Judging from the experience of several companies worldwide, there are lessons to be learned and measures to be taken before business can return to normal. To ensure business resilience in a post COVID world, here are some vital steps to take:
Instil Resilience Into Your Company’s Corporate DNA
The question now is how you instil resilience into your company so they can respond to crises better? It is also imperative that they not only respond, but they should also recover vital business processes so they won’t be compromised. Here are some ways to go about it:
Everything starts with the creation of the business continuity plan. This is a vital document that’s improved continuously and integrated into the company’s overall strategy.
Practice constantly. You will not know if the plan is effective if you don’t test it. Besides, the only way to improve this plan is to test, and it’ll also ensure your employees are ready.
Build a general resilience culture. It is your staff that make up the company, hence, processes and plans are useless if they don’t believe or work with them. Just like culture-related issues, resilience culture should start from the top. It should also be effectively managed to the point where it goes beyond being a project but part of the way you conduct business.
Operational resilience should be built. This can be done by reconsidering your tactic concerning office space. Thanks to COVID 19, most companies know reliance on the office space alone isn’t the best way to go. The general consensus is that companies should adopt hybrid working models that are resilient as ompletely making the transition to remote working isn’t sustainable.
However, most companies are considering allowing a third of their staff to work remotely while others will work within the company’s premises.
Create an Adaptable Continuity Plan
One key element we noted is companies that acted decisively and swiftly got back up and resumed operations faster than others. The more digitized companies, overall seemed to better adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Other things to take note of is the need for robust systems and ICT infrastructure to support home and remote working, together with an excellent cybersecurity.
To adapt to the new normal, business continuity plans should focus on identified risks. However, they should also keep in account that most crises don’t go according to plan, and should make room for unexpected contingencies. A standard business continuity plan should be designed to adapt to all situations.
Companies that have previously survived a crisis know that having a plan that you adjust regularly is not enough. This is more or less like winning the battle halfway. The other half is the continuous preparation for any eventuality.
When a crisis occur, everyone from the top to low will be under a lot of pressure. Taking retroactive steps to adapt, especially when all chips are down during a crisis is asking to putting the cart before the horse.
Those that took part in regular simulations and tests, as you would expect, will be in a better position to make the right decisions.
Companies can build resilience by combining their continuity plan and the capacity to adapt and execute it when the crisis occurs. This also includes the power to quickly recover when hit by a crisis and to reverse the effect so they can recover and regroup.
In the next few months, we’ll see more lessons emerge, but one thing is certain: for companies to adapt to the new normal, they need to be flexible in all situations to ensure continuity.