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Has the COVID-19 Pandemic demonstrated we must be ready for anything?

4th May, 2020 | Author: Dr Rebecca Hoile

There is a lot of debate nationally and globally, around the state of crisis preparedness, planning and execution of responses, to what is now being referred to as a mega-crisis.

Never has a single crisis resulted in such devastating impacts across all facets of our physical, social, economic and political environments.

We talk about business continuity preparedness and planning for identified risks and potential threats to business and the development of mitigation strategies, exercising and training. These are all valuable necessities, however, what the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated is that even with the identification, by global health leaders, scientists and a range of government think tanks, of a pandemic as a probable, high consequence event, many countries and most businesses were grossly underprepared.

Was preparedness too narrow or too rigid?

A crisis can have many facets, and as Australia knows too well, you can be recovering from one crisis when faced with another. Whether the cause or origin of the crisis is natural, accidental or deliberate, our interconnected world, dependencies and vulnerabilities will ensure that we will be faced with a number more.

So what is the answer?

I believe the answer lies within ourselves, our teams and our organisations. The need to build both personal and business resilience. It’s about making a company, and the people within it, capable of detecting threats early, fit enough and ready enough to adapt to change, agile and innovative in the face of disruption, and capable of seizing opportunities in the midst of a crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for successful businesses to be people-centric, focusing on health and welfare first; innovative in their ability to generate new service offerings; able to adapt to physical restrictions and loss of supply chain and pivoting to changing consumer demands.

As many businesses and organisations prepare to shape the new normal, recalibrate your strategic thinking, re-assess your resilience plans, and seek to find opportunities that enable you and your organisation to adapt and be flexible, no matter what crises lie ahead.

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About Dr Rebecca Hoile | Senior Manager, RiskLogic

Dr Rebecca Hoile brings 20 years’ experience in emergency and crisis management, working across public health and law enforcement at the national and international level. Rebecca has worked as a consultant to the World Health Organisation, World Health Emergencies Programme and was a Senior Manager at INTERPOL, working within the Counter Terrorism Directorate.