Uncertainty has defined the last nine months. As COVID-19 cases are once again surging across Canada, the economic optimism from the summer has been put on hold and businesses are now bracing for scaled-down operations and potential closures.
Once more as the pandemic wears on, it continues to exacerbate the digital divide present in the small and medium-sized business market, forcing companies to consider the technologies they have (or don’t have) in place. It’s clear digitalization is no longer a choice for businesses, it’s a necessity.
In a year where “unprecedented” has truly lost all meaning, how do organizations approach crisis planning moving forward? We have worked with countless organizations to plan, develop and test crisis communications plans leading up to 2020. Eight months ago, had you suggested a worst-case scenario that saw entire countries in lockdown, strained medical systems around the world and global-scale economic downturns and uncertainty, NATIONAL might have suggested that your test case crisis scenario was too extreme and far-fetched. However, here we are facing a real crisis that is so extreme it did not even make the list of possible planning scenarios.
Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
That notion could represent a modern theory of relativity during a global pandemic. Because we have all faced hardship in different ways—and to varying degrees—since the spring.
As Canadians across the country work to regain a sense of normalcy, we know that things will never quite be the same. But that can be a good thing, because it provides a rare opportunity to truly hit reset—as an economy and as a society.
“Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.”
– Vladimir Nabokov
As countries across the world continue to cope with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, necessary questions are being asked about how governments and the various multilateral and national institutions and organizations designed to prevent these kinds of outbreaks failed.
It will take time to untangle the myriad of geopolitical and governance failures behind the present condition, but it is hard not to see how complacency played a role in our collective pandemic prevention and preparedness.