I’m sure all of us are paying close attention to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and thinking about how it has and will affect our families, organizations, and society. It’s too soon to say whether this will be long-term disruptive crisis or eventually turn into “just” a more severe version of the flu. In the meantime, fear of the unknown is driving decision-making – both good and bad.
I’ve seen my fair share of crises in my three decade career, which have made me more than a little conservative and perhaps a bit OCD about contingency planning. Some were even coincidentally compounded, like when the sharp downturn in the telecom market in 2001 led me have to announce the closure of a major manufacturing facility… the day before 9/11. I’ve tried to learn from those incidents, as I am from the current. Lessons are being taught by the coronavirus outbreak, but it’s important to use them to analyze the broader perspective. Some than I’m thinking about:
Don’t ignore simple solutions. We can significantly protect ourselves and others by simply washing our hands correctly and by not touching our faces. In what other situations do we have similarly simple solutions, often known but not reinforced by standard work and requirement, and instead choose to invest in expensive countermeasures?
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