5 Top Things to do as you prepare your organization for COVID impact.

These are not normal times and the situation may be unprecedented; yet 4 weeks into shutdown in Silicon Valley, many CEOs are starting to plan for a longer duration of the closure and alternate business models.
There is a balance to be struck between business continuity and the welfare of the manpower. And this balance is difficult to achieve for some startups who are used to using technology for collaboration and very challenging for customer-facing businesses like travel, tourism, retail, and small business services.

COVID may cause the world economy at the very least 5 to 6 times of what SARS cost the world economy ( $40 Billion)
The key to managing any crises is detailed planning. How your organization will survive in 2020 is dependant about a few basic factors


Locating Employees and their Travel Dependencies
If your organization has employees or partners or contractors in more vulnerable geographical areas of the world, you may want to re-evaluate continuing relationships and how they would impact the sustainability of the organization. So if you have remote offices, partners in delivery in China, one of the most impacted areas, you may want to relocate the capability to ensure the availability of people and other resources for survival.
Set up policies for your organization that take care of employee sickness and that of their families. Set up visitor protocols, set up policies for parents homeschooling kids and the flexibility they will require with their availability.
These will be evolving as the crisis manages or progresses, and will need to be therefore continuously revised.

Supply Chain Disruption Backup
Cover all points of vulnerability in the supply chain backward and forward. What are the most critical products of your organization, will the demand for your products or services change due to the crises? How will you pivot if the demand dies? Do you have a plan B? How can you pivot quickly into the areas of greater demand?  How can you use the time to create a more formidable business strategy to be a post-COVID survivor.

Identify Points of Failure 
 Identify the crucial people, resources and critical processes that are essential for the survival of your organization.
Look at the business vulnerability for front end services and create options that can work using technology remotely helping you to continue with your services while the crises continue. Purposeful scenario analysis will help you plan for every permutation and combination of cause and outcome. Be prepared with your best and worst-case scenarios. How the crises will impact sales, finance, marketing or even top management needs to be stripped down to the most viable critical path.
Other risks like cybersecurity while moving ops online are other points of failure that may inhibit operational efficiency.

Communication 
Confusion is common in remote teams and lack of top-down messaging may lead to a lot of anxiety and uncertainty down the ranks. The foremost job of the top management is to communicate clearly, effectively and honestly. While your employee teams are looking for reassurance, sharing with them how you are creating a more winning strategy always helps them feel protected. The top management should always be seen as the harbinger of the truth, however hard the truth maybe- it should be consistent and accurate.