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What are the issues as we move into the management phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

30th April, 2020 | Dan Shields - CEO, RiskLogic

As the COVID-19 curve flattens across Australia and New Zealand, and organisations prepare to resume business in this ‘new-normal’, RiskLogic’s CEO Dan Shields talks to what it actually means for organisations to manage through this new normal, and discusses the new issues that we are already facing.

COVID-19 started light in Australia and New Zealand, but escalated very rapidly once the virus got a foothold outside of China. As we look back over the past few weeks – managing health concerns, the massive social and economic dislocation, and the huge uncertainty have been issues many organisations have been grappling with.

When I look back at my time, most of it has been spent with executive teams, helping map out what the impacts might be for organisations, how they’re going to manage it and what it means for business continuity.

It’s clear that despite all that change, we have moved from the response phase of the COVID-19 pandemic into the management phase. From the pandemic management phase, we will eventually move into pandemic recovery.

Covid-19 pandemic phases

What are the new issues that occupy us now?

Adapting to social distancing requirements. The big one is welfare and wellbeing. How are they managed through isolation and the productivity issues that flow from that.

Managing how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our tolerance for organisational risk. For most organisations that has changed, and the threat landscape has also changed. Unfortunately for organisations, most are more vulnerable to those threats and they have less capability to withstand the impacts of them as well.

Making sure we can sustain business in a remote capacity for an extended period of time, and all the issues that come about by having less customers and lower revenue.

But also understanding what recovery might look like and when we can start to resume aspects of business. This becomes more challenging when states and territories potentially start to relax social distancing requirements at different times in different ways. A staggered easing of social restrictions.

The important thing for all organisations now is to establish what we call a ‘new normal’. It’s about establishing the way we operate, about providing predictable outcomes for employees, customers and other stakeholders, and then planning for a phased recovery.

This requires good planning. Good planning that takes the best of crisis management, business continuity, communications and corporate governance. Bring them together with a COVID-19 overlay.

It’s important we do some debriefing. Now’s the time we debrief on how we went through the response phase. What we did well. What did we do not so well that we can learn from, and factor in to how we manage through the next phase of COVID-19.

Making sure we review how the changed landscape could affect our organisation and putting actions in place to minimse elevated areas of risk, and then planning for recovery.

Making sure we are ready to start resuming business, ready to re-engage effectively with employees, that we’ve looked at our supply chain to make sure that it’s able to cope with the resurgence of demand. Making sure our other operational capabilities are aligned.

These are the important things that will take us through the next phase of COVID-19. Explore RiskLogic’s COVID-19 pandemic roadmap to understand what the management phase means for you, and how RiskLogic can support you through the next phase.

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