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Keeping Calm and Carrying on

Beautiful St Patrick’s Eve sunshine today made it easy to ‘Be Calm and Carry on’……until reflecting on what lies ahead, arising from the evolving Coronavirus story.

For business owners this is a particularly difficult time. It is a crisis with no end date and many businesses have fallen off a cliff edge. It requires all in the supply chain to press the ‘freeze’ button and to share the pain fairly. We need to remind each other that business supply chains are also a ‘community’ where mutual support is a must.

There are many important variables that business owners cannot control, so emotional and mental discipline is required to focus only on those aspects we can influence.

Some suggestions:

Build your personal resilience. Remember the pillars of resilience.

  1. Acceptance. Face the facts, however painful. There is no point in denying what has happened and hoping that things will work out.
  2. Gratitude. Find things to be grateful for and remind yourself of these on a daily basis.
  3. Pause before acting. Is the action I am contemplating going to help me in the long term or make things worse? Be independent minded – what might be a good solution for someone else may not be for you.

Act in accordance with your values. Be fair to employees and other stakeholders. Fear and stress can cause us to act in ways that we will subsequently regret.

Develop a personal ‘lockdown plan’ now. Establish a daily routine and stick to it, keep connected to others, stay fit and healthy. Behavioural psychologists tell us that daily habits are essential for our physical and mental well being. Consider using downtime to enhance your skills or acquire new skills, thru subscribing to an online course etc

Explore future scenarios for your business. Use lockdown time to do some strategic thinking :

What new norms might result from the crisis – impacts for your business model ? What changes are likely in the competitive landscape for your business? What will be the impact for your business of emerging societal changes ? eg normalising of virtual working and communication.

To finish, I am reminded of the quote from Samuel Beckett’s ‘The Unnamable’ :

‘ You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on ‘

Ultimately, we have no choice but to ‘go on’

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