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Business as Unusual Continues Into Its Second Week

These are challenging times.

Such a cliché.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but the truth is, it is.

But every time has its challenges – some tougher than others. But whatever happens, we have to continue looking forward – planning, mitigating, restrategising, realigning – functioning as “business as usual” even when its “unusual”.

With so much uncertainty, its time for businesses to do a few things. Take stock of what you have, where you are at, and how this will fit into a potential Business 5.0 model (forget Industry 4.0 as we’ve moved past that with Covid). Business will be different, especially as the world locks down, and not just out own back yards.

Look at your communications activities. Are they still relevant? Will they be seen as tone deaf? Even in the short run! Are you sending a message of positivity, or doom and gloom. Those “we are with you” messages need to hit the mark, giving support, but not coming across as opportunistic or condescending. Advertising campaigns may have to be delayed, or culled altogether. New messaging may be required. Rather than how can I sell my products in these times; how can we contribute to the community? And not CSR for column inches, but CSR because you and your business is part of a community which is suffering.

Re-plan and realign communications plans. How will these change as our environment is changing. What can you add to your Crisis Communications Plan now as a direct result of the Covid experience? What will fundamentally change about your business? How are you keeping in touch with your stakeholders? Is that enough? All of these may seem like hard work, but now is the time to address them – not later!

For teams, take advantage of the opportunity to explore remote working models and get those right. When Covid is over, remote working will still be a thing, and those cautious people amongst us, will want to continue it, at least in part. Acknowledge and reward your team for honest remote working – give trust, show trust, and you too will be rewarded. Adjust expectation, but communicate these well. Keep up the internal communications, so that no one is left behind. Checking in, rather than checking on, should be the new norm.

Use this time to train your team members. Quasi-personalised webinars and online courses are ideal. Many are free access for the coming fortnight. A perfect time to upskill, learn a new skill, or simply explore and reinforce. Udemy, Coursera, Ragan – all good places to check out relevant options and go with the new flow. Use Zoom, Go To Meeting, and other platforms to create enhanced sharing experiences for your teams – internal webinars – maybe take some content external.

Forget things being all doom and gloom – that’s just perspective. Reshape that as opportunity and use the time to create a new strategy. We won’t come out of this unscathed, but we can at least come out more prepared for something new.

So, let’s move through Business as Unusual, past business as Usual, to Business Evolved!

We can, and will, do this.

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