COVID-19: Reviewing your command structure

COVID-19 is the most significant challenge the global economy has faced. No business is unaffected. Some are battling with a collapse in revenues, others are responding to an unprecedented spike in demand.

All are adapting to the challenges of working remotely for an extended period and a profoundly uncertain future.

Most businesses have frameworks designed to help them respond to such crises. Many have scenario-specific plans within those frameworks. ‘Pandemic preparedness’ is often one of them.

Those frameworks have, on the whole, been activated. However, these plans are typically informed by the earlier outbreaks of H1N1 Swine Flu or MERs or SARs. Few, if any, make provision for the humanitarian impact COVID-19 has brought nor the global disruption that has followed it.

Some organisations have chosen to rely on ad hoc initiatives designed to supplement business-as-usual command structures.

With the prospect of social distancing continuing for some time to come – and perhaps being intermittently re-introduced once the peak of the pandemic is over – now is the time to ask whether the command structures in place are working as effectively as they could and how sustainable they are.

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