COVID-19: Responding to business interruptions

  • When a significant event, such as coronavirus (COVID-19) interrupts your organisation, leaders come to the fore.
  • A crisis tests organisational culture and values.
  • It also amplifies organisational weakness and challenge strengths.

Whether you have a business continuity plan or not, when a disruptive event happens, organisations need to respond. Planning, that is thinking about the future and preparing to address unanticipated events, is far more important than the plan, which is just an artefact.

For some organisations, planning for business interruption is part of their culture. They recognise crisis management and business continuity planning as important but not always an urgent task. Like a gardener, they tend to the preparatory work so they will be ready to take advantage of the best planting conditions.

Other organisations, caught up in day-to-day urgent matters do not turn their mind to addressing a business interruption. They have no planning process and executives have not exercised and walked through how a disruptive event will be addressed, either from exploiting the opportunities disruption may provide, or how they will address threats.

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