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Cornelius News

Managing through COVID-19

A crisis may slow, halt, or even generate sales depending upon your industry and business model. We cannot control the cause of the crisis, but we can control how we react to it.
The word crisis refers to circumstances we are not familiar with, problems we don’t have experience solving, and significant disruption in our normal processes. These are reasons many organizations don’t have a crisis plan—it can be too abstract, illusive, and it’s never pleasant to contemplate.
Crisis planning requires a dogmatic “what if” approach to reviewing your organization’s potential weaknesses -and the commitment to correct them. It can reveal information about your organization that may not be pleasant to reckon with. Crisis planning takes time, commitment, and vigilance.
Even without a crisis management plan to refer to during the current COVID-19 pandemic, you still need to manage your business, customers and vendors, as well as your daily processes.

So, what to do?
Rely upon what you know, remember your mission, recognize the strengths you have. Document what you are doing every day so you have a clear historical path; in a time of reflection you will want to know what you did and why, when you did it, and what was successful.
In a time of chaos critical details can be lost; don’t let that happen. Document, journal, dictate. Do whatever works for you so that in the future when your thinking is clear and not harried.

What is unique about a crisis?

• Time pressure: Everything seems URGENT
• You don’t feel as rational as you normally do as the situation is complex, there are voids where you need information, or there is not time enough to process all the information that may be available.
• You don’t know what you don’t know
• What you say or do demands accuracy
• Your credibility is on the line (and your organization’s)
• Stakes are high

How to move forward?

• Be disciplined. Structure your actions, your communications, your processes
• Rely on your experience: Rules that worked for you may before become critical now.
• Keep your values and mission in view
• Prioritize your activities and instructions.
• Use checklists
• Maintain your professional code of conduct.
• Recognize disruption and chaos may at times feel like grief-recognize and work through it as such.
• Learn from and watch for growth-from you, and from the organization

Helpful features of crisis management

• Recognize your limitations
• Draw upon others’ expertise; ask for help and insight
• Take it easy on yourself. You can’t control situations, but you can control how you react to them.
• Take care of yourself or you can’t take care of others

And when the crisis passes, set aside time to evaluate this period, and create a crisis plan for the future.

Cheryl Kane, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, & professional speaker specializing in strategic planning and service quality. Cheryl welcomes your communication at email: