Six risk management steps to move quickly, stay focussed and keep your business running during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing like anything the world has seen before. Time is of the essence to get a grip on this new kind of crisis. Business leaders need to show strong management and sound decision-making.
Previous experiences with crisis management can point where to start. By constantly identifying, prioritising, managing and responding to multiple risks companies can ensure their future. A solid risk management approach also helps companies safeguard the wellbeing of their people, clients and other stakeholders. It’s therefore key to have the right organisation, people and processes in place.
Usually a risk management life cycle consists of four stages: prevention, detection, response and mitigation. But this crisis forced companies to respond quickly, without hardly any time for prevention and detection. Yet, this crisis is still at an early stage. And it’s time to prepare for a long unpredictable journey. This includes thinking about the next phase: the gradual lifting of the confinement measures and the resumption of activities.
Here are six important steps to keep your business running at as high a capacity as possible:
1. Set up a crisis management task force
Managing a crisis requires governance and process management. For businesses to survive a crisis, they should always establish a crisis management task force first that directly reports to senior management.
The cross-functional team will have to focus on four core tasks:
- Risk and response assessment
- Monitoring, analysis and reporting
- Crisis operation management
The task force can then function as a project management office (PMO) that will have to address workforce management and employee wellbeing, customer and brand protection, finance management, supply chain, and any legal and contract issues. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The crisis affects businesses differently and the focus per topic will vary for each company. Think about food retailers who had to deal with replenishment issues because of hoarding in comparison to fashion retailers that had to close their shops.