One of my father's favourite television shows was Dad's Army.
The show centred on a unit of the Home Guard during World War II based at Wilmington on Sea if I recall correctly.
While the show leveraged the post-war/boomer appetite for fictionalising and humourising World War II it also highlighted, again with humour, what can happen in a serious situation if there are not the right skills and knowledge to manage it.
While Captain Mainwaring tried admirably to manage every situation, he was from time to time let down by those around him.
He had to deal with almost every aspect of dysfunctional teams, from those who were too young and inexperienced (Pike), to those who were too long in the tooth to be lead (Frazer), to those who had their minds completely on other things (Walker).
However, the character who most stood out for me (and speaks to our current times) was Corporal Jones whose catch cry was "don't panic!!" – invariably shouted when he was in a state of panic himself.
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And my memory is that when Corporal Jones panicked bad things happened to the squad.
A week or so ago I wrote about the Coronavirus (the virus also known as 'Covid-19' which sounds more like a name for a rapper or graffiti artist).
The message then was be prepared and that won't change, and there is still time to do so.
What will change over the coming weeks and months is how the virus' impacts will develop, where it will end up and who will be affected.
Like many things, however, the reaction is making this much worse than it really could be, starting with stock markets.
This also isn't helped by media sensationalising the situation for clicks or the vast amount of bovine scatology masquerading as information on social media.
This situation is unique but is not unprecedented and, yes, there will likely be impacts.
We are also very reliant on the response of our Government and health authorities.
But, at a micro level, what is required here is a measured and considered response – which is about your processes and how you manage issues (that is, risks that have become real events).
So, again, the message is to take a breath and take stock of your own and your business' situation.
Determine how and where this event might impact you and take steps to plan for those impacts in the form of a business continuity plan.
Panic is the opposite of this and creates new risk or accentuates existing ones.
For example, if you have a disaster recovery plan for your business and have a stocked survival kit at home then I would wager you probably weren't filling a shopping trolley with canned goods and toilet paper over the weekend.
There is good information for individuals and business owners alike on official websites and, with good information, you can make better decisions.
From memory, all things (good and bad) come to an end.
We get to choose how we face each situation and the more logical and reasoned our response the more likely it is that we will emerge successfully from it.
After all, and again from memory, World War II ended, Corporal Jones got married and he got to see both of those things - because there was good decision making by cooler heads around him.
•If you want to assess your risks or set in place a business continuity plan give Russell Bell a call on 021 244 2421.