There is a quote in the Arab world that loosely translates to “In the desert, a person walking for miles will try to drink the sand for lack of water.” In times of crisis, people will start to make up and believe in rumors due to a lack of information. We cannot underestimate the power of communication. This is even more valid in a crisis situation. Lack of communication can fuel chaos in any organization. Lack of communication stirs up rumors and fear.
There has to be a communication plan in place in a crisis situation. There has to be a person accountable for orchestrating the dissemination of information. Information needs to be transparent, relevant, and timely. Communication has to be continuous. Stale communication is useless. The damage has been done with the spreading of rumors. Transparency in our communication is essential. We cannot sugarcoat or ignore key issues. We also have to frame our communication in a positive manner.
In times such as these, what people need is hope. People need to hope that this crisis has a cycle and will eventually pass. We need to encourage perseverance in our communication. We need to empathize with the recipient of our communication. We need to put ourselves in their shoes. How are they feeling? What are their fears? We need to tailor our communication to positively address these fears. In times like these, more people come to their knees and seek hope in God. In times like these, we need to encourage them to seek solace in God.
We always say that there is a reason for everything. In crisis situations, we need to highlight the positive changes that is happening as well. In these times, more people reach out to God. More groups are praying every single day. More people are taking the time to bond with their loved ones. More people have become conscious of their buying habits. People are now focusing on what they need instead of what they want. People started spending more time developing their hobbies like; cooking, learning a musical instrument, reading more books and so on. We also learned to appreciate some of the professions we took for granted in the past – the front liners.
We also have to be courageous enough to acknowledge that what has been successful in the past may not be as successful in the next or new normal. We need to take a careful look at our business models, products, and services. We need to see how we can adapt them to the new normal. It will be foolish to think that the public will go back to its old normal buying patterns after the lockdown. It is not logical to think that what made our products and services successful prior to the epidemic will still be exactly the same formula for success post lockdown. It may be the same with careers and professions. Which careers will thrive in the new normal? What working environment will be adopted in the new normal? What digital tools do we need to master to keep relevant in the new normal economy?
Along with repositioning our; business, products, and services, how do we redesign our end-to-end value chain processes to support the changes? We need to be more agile in testing out new/updated products, product delivery, and services. We need to have a digital transformation strategy and execute it quickly. We need to have a digital strategy for developing our people and execute it quickly. We cannot leave these things to chance. We cannot thrive depending on the status quo.
Much will change and it’s our and our organization’s ability to adopt that will spell the difference between success and more difficulty.
Have you carefully given these things enough thought during the lockdown?
How will you adapt to the new normal?