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HOW RESPONSE AND UNCERTAINTY COLLIDE Featured
26 March 2020 Posted by 

HOW RESPONSE AND UNCERTAINTY COLLIDE

We are shaken but not stopped
MARIO BEKES
COMPANIES that perform effective tactical and operational triage will be better placed during this crisis and beyond.

From the dawn of humankind, mysterious diseases and illnesses have caused panic and havoc. Fear was often translated and elaborated in many ways, such as through religion, gods and unjustified punishment.

Fortunately, humanity evolved through the centuries. Science, once treated with scepticism, is now seen as a saviour through its objective, exploration, mapping and understanding of world events, including diseases, and how to prevent and cure them.

“Because your question searches for deep meaning, I shall explain in simple words” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno.
 
Currently, the entire world is shaken to its core with considerable impact visible in the economy and our lifestyles. In addition, there are the more important invisible marks such as fear, anxiety, stress and uncertainty.
 
Uncertainty is not created by the appearance of COVID-19 but in how it is responded to.  Uncertainty has been created from not knowing the full extent of the virus’ nature and what type of damage it will cause.
 
The fear is widespread. Lifestyle changes caused by lockdowns and social distancing create fear, as does the loss of jobs and financial security, with capacity to earn money, pay mortgages, go for holidays and even get your daily coffee jeopardised. Then there is the classic health fear of being infected or passing the virus on to a vulnerable person.
 
This pandemic will pass, humankind will continue, however, it is the responsibility of not just governments but also corporations, to learn from this and respond to the crisis like emergency doctors performing triage surgery.
 
From a business perspective, this is not about healthcare but the processes, methods and tools available to successfully perform triage when a crisis happens. Having a clear triage process will instil increased willingness into employees and stakeholders to fight the fear, uncertainty and anxiety.
 
So, what is the Art of Operational and Tactical Triage?

Without doubt, all leaders are facing a crisis regarding the impact of COVID-19.
 
Triage, in the context of the corporate environment, is responding to the situation in real-time. This is managed through on-going monitoring and utilisation of information management (in house and external) by applying situational awareness, decisiveness and professional expertise in areas such as, economics, risk management, PR, IT and finance.
 
The purpose of triage is to achieve the best possible outcome for more people by sorting and evaluating which aspects of the crisis need immediate attention and which can be de-prioritised.
 
Proactive businesses are utilising effective internal and external tools and resources to evaluate each aspect of a crisis, recognising the needs of their employees who are seeking security and certainty.
 
In moments like these, true leaders emerge, and existing ones will excel in their positions through leading by example.
 
Leaders will recognise the importance of triage as:
1.     A quick and decisive response by identifying the most important areas to focus on, enabling businesses and employees to continue their work processes.
2.      Identifying Priorities to develop the short-term solutions which will have the biggest impact on businesses and employees. This step requires the team to be unified and use clear thinking that is converted into key objectives for short term solutions.
3.     Internal communications in plain and simple language. Communications need to extend to all employees, regardless of position and encompass opinions and ideas from all - not just executive management.
4.     External Communication sets leaders apart. In times of crisis they will step forward and raise their public profile to calmly clarify what the situation is, what goals are to be reached, addressing business continuity and the impact on employees’ perspectives to reduce stress and anxiety. This is the point where you win hearts and minds.
5.     A triage ‘War Room’ will provide the ability for continuous adaptations and refinements of situational awareness. It enables fast implementation of the risk management framework and responses to media requests, social media activity etc.
The above five elements depend on balancing the ratio of manpower, logistical and technical resources with the time and date of execution and intelligence analysis of the situation.
 
Mario Bekes is Managing Director, Insight Intelligence Group and is an intelligence and investigative professional, with a wide range of experience spanning military and civil intelligence in Europe and Australia. Over 30 years Mario has conducted many investigations within government sectors including defence and foreign affairs departments, as well as the corporate world. Visit:


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