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You’re in the Life Raft and You’ve Only Got Paddles

Posted by Ben Whittacker-Cook on 5/05/2020 12:30:00 PM

Find out why now is a perfect time to review and document what you have learnt through the COVID-19 experience to enable greater business change resilience in the future. In our latest blog, Rachel Brunel, founder at Bedrock, explains more.

business documentation

Your business ship is impacted significantly, and a quick exit into the life raft may be required. But it seems there are no clear instructions on board, no tools and no map to guide you; just some paddles, a whole lot of uncertainty and hard work.    

This is not situation normal. 

It’s been turbulent on the seas. If you haven’t run life raft drills before, there are many new views, rules and actions and team efforts being formulated in this dramatically different environment.

| Reflect and Write It Up

There’s more to learn now than ever before. Our business minds are having to shift into some creative spaces to enable us to cope with significant open sea type change and uncertainty.  Challenging yes, but an opportunity for business improvements you never would have had to dream up before. It’s absolute gold in increasing business resilience.

Take what you have learnt, are learning and are about to learn as you go through these next phases and capture it for reuse when you need it again – across your day-to-day processes and to formulate new and flexible resilience plans.

Don’t have the time? Narrow and niche the focus. Don’t over-invest time designing and developing a massive document that caters for a world-wide pandemic disruption, or spend hours drafting it up perfectly. It’s better to have an imperfect plan that you use, than a perfect one you don’t.

Start simple. List your learnings against your business building blocks:

  • Products/services 
  • Customer profile 
  • The team 
  • Locations/facilities 
  • Suppliers and supplies 
  • Equipment 
  • Technology and data
  • Engagement and communication 

Take time to take stock and think through each of these areas and the decisions and actions taken:

  • What areas had to change? Why? 
  • What did you do to change it? Did it work? 
  • Have you used your current resources differently? How?
  • What backups were in place, or needed to be?
  • What wastage have the changes highlighted? What did you decide you didn’t actually need?
  • Who’s taken responsibility for what? Who hasn’t?
  • What processes did you have to follow to pack down and close safely?
  • What would you have done better or differently?
  • What changes need to become status quo? What is the new status quo?

Apply these whether you have upscaled, downscaled or side-scaled your operations or have had to close temporarily.

You have real-life lessons under your belt, which are a huge advantage. Most resilience plans are developed from a mock-up or best-guess foundation.

| Adapt Faster Next Time

The impacting force of COVID-19 is hopefully a one-off event. However, it is not the only time that your business could be affected by an unexpected external force that requires you to react. It’s not actually the event itself, but how you prepare and react to the business interruption that’s important.

Start building the picture for reuse. Get valuable information out of heads, so it’s not lost. Over time, put the learnings into an actionable plan as this will save you time and save money and will allow you to react in a more agile way next time.

Seize the opportunity, don’t feel seized by it.

Bedrock empowers small and medium-sized organisations to systemise their operations through the power of simple and smart documentation. Head to the website for more information about Bedrock.

Check out our dedicated resource for businesses impacted by COVID-19. It’s full of useful information and resources, support and offerings, funding opportunities and partnership and coaching details.

For more business ownership and leadership advice,  check out more of our blogs.    

Topics: Leadership, Technology & Digital, Business Strategy & Planning, Brand & Marketing, Growth, Coronavirus

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