Make the Most of a Crisis
February 09, 2021
During a crisis, ‘normal’ activities are interrupted and processes are adjusted to keep operations moving. But what can we do to make the most of a crisis, beyond just reacting to it.
Crises happenWe rarely see them coming and know they will.
During a crisis, ‘normal’ activities are interrupted and processes are adjusted to keep operations moving. This can highlight innovations that wouldn’t have otherwise been implemented. Perhaps you’d been pondering flexible policies around working from home. Suddenly crisis-related restrictions are mandating just that, rapidly altering a company’s approach to remote work and how communication happens.
So, a crisis happened, your company adapted to the new (perhaps temporary) situation – what now?
Situation analysisA helpful starting point is comparing your crisis activities to “normal” times.
Review the adjustments made by the company to accommodate crisis impacts and restrictions. Adjustments may have included reduced product offerings, altered processes, increased remote work, or shifting to a contingency work force. Analyze the good, the bad, and the ugly; what worked and what didn’t, where did you excel, what gaps were identified. Perhaps your new eCommerce site took off but only included partial offerings or your customer phone support was invaluable to weathering the storm. Consider whether changes will be included as a permanent part of the business and, if so, whether any further improvements are required.
Think about your employees and how the change has affected their experience. Define the support systems required to transition to the “new normal”. Did responsibilities shift, leading to new or increased expectations of employees? Perhaps a refresh on proper procedures and practices is needed or training on new technologies released and utilized during the crisis.
It’s also helpful to consider external internal changes, beyond your control. Chances are good that your current and future customer bases have been affected by the crisis too. Identify new customer needs for and identify the product or service offerings that would fulfill them. Consider environmental factors and trends that can impact your ability to be successful. Reassess your competitors and their actions and offerings.
Finally, using all the information gained during analysis, revise the company strategy, and create a plan to move forward.