Report Offers Business Advice Related to COVID-19

April 27th, 2020 by Emmariah Holcomb

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently published a report Coronavirus and Business: The Insights You Need, that gives companies advice on how to approach business in the future while being in the midst of the global epidemic.

According to the HBR, there are several lessons to be learned for responding to fast-changing events including COVID-19.

  1. Update intelligence on a daily basis;
  2. Beware of news cycles;
  3. Don’t assume information creates a sense of being informed;
  4. Constantly reframe your understanding of what’s happening;
  5. Make sure your response is balanced across these seven dimensions;
  6. Start preparing for the next crisis;
  7. Reflect on what you’ve learned; and
  8. Prepare for a changed world.

“Since events are unfolding with astounding speed, and the picture changes on a daily basis. Our team initially decided to communicate updates every 72 hours, but we moved to a daily cycle, not only for updating data, but also for reframing our overall perspective,” a portion of the report reads.

The report cautions companies to beware of news cycles, as “news organizations often focus on what’s new rather than the big picture.” When exposed to fast changing information people have a systematic tendency initially to overlook weak signals, according to the report. When it comes to information the report found that in today’s society it’s readily accessible. Although that aids in advancement it can cause confusion when related to getting accurate up-to-date information during an epidemic.

“Don’t assume that information creates an informed outlook. Leaders might reasonably conclude that there is so much information and commentary available externally that they don’t need to do anything additional. We have found, however, that creating and widely sharing a regularly updated summary of facts and implications is invaluable, so that time is not wasted debating what the facts are — or worse, making different assumptions about facts,” a portion of the report reads.

HBR also highlighted the importance of making sure your company’s response is balanced across these seven dimensions, which include:

  • Communications;
  • Employee needs;
  • Travel;
  • Remote work
  • Supply-chain stabilization;
  • Business tracking and forecasting; and
  • Being a part of the broader solution.

The goal is to create a message for your employees that highlight their current and future needs, as well as having frequent and clear communication to limit confusion.

COVID-19 is not a one-off challenge, according to HBR, and fenestration businesses should expect additional phases to the current epidemic and additional epidemics in the future.

“Our research on the effectiveness of organizational responses to dynamic crises indicates that there is one variable which is most predictive of eventual success – preparation and preemption. Preparing for the next crisis (or the next phase of the current crisis) now is likely to be much more effective than an ad hoc, reactive response when the crisis actually hits,” a portion of the report reads.

With any global crisis it’s valuable to reflect on what your business has learned and COVID-19 isn’t an exception, according to the report. “Efforts should be made not to squander a valuable learning opportunity, a portion of the report reads. “Even while the crisis is unfolding, responses and impacts should be documented to be later reviewed and lessons distilled.”

Going Forward

As the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths increase it’s important to expect permanent changes to the industry going forward, according to HBR. The organization noted a rise in technology and online means to communicate and work with clients and customers.

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