Project Management

Will You Be Ready When the Next Disaster Strikes?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly impacting the world. Virtually every government, institution, company and person has become very sober to the notion that there are things out there that we have little control over and that can strike with little or no warning.

Savvy organizations are going to be taking a hard look at their crisis and disaster preparedness status—and the smart ones are going to embark on initiatives that address a broad range of “What if” situations that, should they occur, would severely impact and even threaten their continued existence.

Consider for a moment that you have been assigned to manage one of these types of initiatives. The goal is to develop actionable plans to rapidly assess and respond to these mega-crises/disasters (MCD) in a way that ensures the organization can weather and survive. Where do you start? How do you approach something so enormous in scope and scale?

One approach is to focus on outcomes before diving into the causal events. Yes, eventually, plans will need to be developed for a host of causal events like earthquakes, tornadoes, pandemics, etc. But real insights can be gleaned from exploring what might be done should disruptions happen to critical things like supply chains, workforce availability, loss of air travel, access to credit and more.

Understanding the impact of each of these disruptions …


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"It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go."

- Bertrand Russell