When we get married or make a long-term commitment, one thing that is inevitable is that there will be rough times. Some people are lucky and they only face minor obstacles, others will have to deal with a full-blown catastrophe, such as losing a home or even worse, a child.
Research has shown that couples don’t separate because their life is in shambles, they separate because they don’t know how to handle these difficult situations. Blame is one ingredient that doesn’t improve the circumstances and things often spiral out of control.
It was a long time coming
The same holds true for this Corona Virus crisis. Everybody who has read credible publications or watched trustworthy news over the last years must have heard that a Pandemic was looming. I can’t remember a time in the last decade where there wasn’t a potential danger of an outbreak of the magnitude that we are experiencing right now, but then it didn't happen and we sighed with relief and moved on with our lives.
Although we know that at any time there is a worldwide pandemic that could linger, what have we done to prepare? Not a lot as anybody can see. We are reacting, but we are not executing plans that were developed prior to this outbreak. And I am not even talking about the fact that there don’t seem to be enough test kits or face masks available, that is almost a rookie mistake.
Reaction vs. Preparation can lead to Panic
What happens when there is a lack of preparation is a feeling overwhelm and panic. The financial fallout from this crisis could be devastating and it could have been mitigated if we had a solid crisis plan in place.
Events are being canceled and schools are considering to home-school children. When I watched the local news the other day, they were referring to the way some countries are now engaging with students as E-Learning. They don’t even have the terminology right. It’s not E-Learning, it’s long-distance learning. I know that because I own a company that has E-Learning capability with a technology platform and a curriculum that was developed so sales people who are disbursed all over the world can all learn at the same pace. On the other hand, we now have teachers who are instructing their students over the internet without the ability to truly collaborate or being able to tap into an E-Learning platform.
And all of this happens in the 21st century with so many technology solutions available. We scramble, we panic and we react and it’s really scary to watch how the news develop and there is no clear path to success outlined.
For governments this should be a wake-up call to fund departments to be prepared. We have access to the data and we know that the next Hurricane, Flood or even Pandemic will be coming. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when and how often.
Shareholders should keep companies accountable and require a crisis preparedness plan to be in place. There are many companies who offer crisis management, including training, incident planning and response tools.
Even if we weather this emergency in a way where we contain it (fingers crossed) the question still remains how well prepared we are for the next crisis.