Exponential’s business coaches do and have long advocated for businesses and public sector agencies to regularly undertake risk assessment exercises and develop contingency plans just in case the worst case scenario happens.
Here we are now with the volcanic airline crisis and history appears to be repeating itself. With businesses having supply channels cut off, key staff spread all over the globe and little prospect of returning to any sense of normality for some time, may be this time directors will take heed.
It is estimated that global airlines have lost £1.1bn of revenue as a result of the disruptions caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption, that almost a third of global flights were affected at its height affecting an estimated that 1.2 million passengers. But how much will smaller businesses have lost as a result? Could any of the losses have been mitigated by a routine and rigorous risk assessment?
Would it have been wise to have team members multi-skilled enabling them to cover the work of those overseas? Would it have been worth investing in the use of state of the art ICT-based communication systems and remote working practices? Would it have been sensible to regularly review lists of preferred suppliers or even to switch to local suppliers?
Sure hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the wise thing is to act on it so next time we are better informed, better placed to manage and better at carrying on business. Business coaches, senior managers need to take out time NOW to assess potential risks and draw up contingency plans. Whilst it is impossible to mitigate every risk, the old Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared” is surely one that the business world should adopt. How are you going to prepare yourself for the future?