How Not to React to COVID-19

When organizations experience major external crises they often run the risk of being consumed by it so much so that they react in ways that might be ok in the short-term, but can severely hurt them in the long-term. If you lose yourself in the crisis and stop playing to your strengths you will hurt your long term viability and deviate from your deeper purpose.

I can tell you, as a consultant I’m really not sure what is next for my company. Will we have a lineup or an empty que? The one thing I will bet on is us, our capabilities and defining who we are now, while we have the time. Our brand and website are in for a big upgrade – mainly – to strengthen our foundations so we can come out of this better than when we went into it.

Time, and companies reactions to the world we’re now in, will show who will make it through these troubling times. Some will adapt and pivot to create products the world urgently needs for the moment, like beer makers switching to soap, or manufacturing companies (in various fields) making ventilators and masks. These are short-term ways to help make the world a better place, and they will not hurt the company in the long run. With the huge added bonus of keeping your team employed – and doing the right thing.

Where I get worried is watching companies not take care of their people. How you treat your employees in times of crisis tells a lot about your core values. My brother works for a helicopter company on Victoria Island here in Canada and they have reduced the workload and only have one person on at a time – but here is the magic – all wages remain the same. Everyone can still live, the risks are reduced and when this is over (hopefully soon) your team is not only still intact – but stronger than ever.

As the future is uncertain at this point, your strategy needs to be one which makes you a success story and not a cautionary tail.