Leading the way through uncertainty around COVID-19
Embracing uncertainty, adapt scenario-thinking in business decision-making and being as flexible as possible. We are seeking the tools for companies to cope with the unprecedented uncertainty around COVID-19.
For a generation of business leaders, we have been operating in and living through what we believed were uncertain times. VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) has been in the business vocabulary for over 30 years and yet we’ve seldom (if ever) been confronted with the degree of uncertainty we’re now facing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our blogpost we’re seeking solutions to help companies to confront this unprecedented uncertainty.
Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning simply started with drawing attention to the importance of trustworthy sources of information, which may be indeed challenging, since most of the information around COVID 19 is incomplete, some of it is conflicting, much of it is politicized. The suggestion is to look to experts for guidance, and take into account multiple information sources. The European Commission also launched a site to help EU citizens to cope with disimformation: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/fighting-disinformation_en.
In addition to it, Deanna Foster associate director of Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning emphasized the importance of taking care of employees, preparing for the vulnerability of supply chains and staying flexible.
According to Deloitte’s article,
the key is embracing uncertainty and adapt scenario-thinking.
What does it mean to embrace uncertainty? – Embracing uncertainty is knowing what you know, knowing what you don’t or can’t know and knowing the difference – as Donald Rumsfeld, former United States Secretary of Defence said.
And the suggestions for confronting uncertainty and adapt scenarion thinking in decision-making entail the following:
- Consider uncertainty under different time horizons
- Identify the most critical uncertainties for your industry and business
- Once you have accepted that you don’t know what the future holds, use the uncertainties to envision multiple different futures
- Seek diverse perspectives, from diverse people, including different age groups and people outside your company, geographical location and industry.
- Incorporate scenarios into decision-making
- Distinguish implications of different decisions
- Make choices and monitor
For more details, check out Deloitte’s website.