Cardinus’ Andy Hawkes and Scenaris’ Allen Johnson take a look at the world and think about seismic shifts in business will facilitate new conversations on the importance of risk management.

It is an interesting world whereby circumstances rather than choices have determined outcomes and it is clear that we are only partially through the crisis as governments react to changing data.

Good business ideas sometimes never get properly explored because of lack of resources or shortness of time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated changes that have made significant impacts on all aspects of conducting business.

The Virtual Business

We have seen the move to remote working, return to work and a reversal in recent days. Some sectors such as leisure, travel, events, theatres and traditional retail may never fully return to pre-COVID models and many good businesses will disappear forever.

The adoption and, indeed acceptance, of the online meeting and webinar, is now a critical part of the business model and as businesses look forward, long-held beliefs around the need to travel and “press the flesh” have been shattered. Who will win the battle to become the Hoover of the online meeting room?

Will the shift to remote working and virtual meetings see the need for the prestigious office with the huge atrium to become a dinosaur with CEOs regretting why they signed the 25-year lease? And the thought of air mile points to supplement the costs of the executives’ next luxury holiday could be a distant memory.

This COVID crisis has produced a seismic shift in the economies of major cities as the support sectors, cafes, bars, theatres and restaurants, in particular, disappear; but does this create more opportunity for the artisan, local entrepreneurs, to fill the resulting gaps as ex-commuters work from home and support the local economy?

There is acceleration to digital and virtual solutions as organisations embrace modified and new ways of working. It will not be long before the next training session will be from a hologram floating in your kitchen!

Businesses of all types have been forced to make changes that previously would have been unheard of. It is no longer a case of slow evolution but rapid mutation. But with mutation comes the need for discipline as we know that a mutation can create chaos if sufficient care is not taken.

Risk Management Can Rise to the Challenge

We are all living through a period of time that none of us thought possible but history tells us that human ingenuity inevitably rises to the challenge. As firms rise to the challenge, it should be borne to mind that alongside the creativity, innovation and out of the box thinking is the need for disciplined planning and above all, management of risk.

While we may never know the actual origin of COVID 19 it is patently evident that there was a catastrophic failure to manage risk and maybe as we pursue and adopt new ways of working and new business models, the lack of risk management created an economic downturn from which many will not recover.

Our consultants have been working with organisations across the UK to support them with their COVID-19 planning and recovery. Let us help you solve your pandemic challenges by contacting us here.

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