The coronavirus adversity is not just a chance for personal growth, but professional and commercial growth as well. We are now living in a world that is embracing failure whether we like it or not and to a degree unprecedented in most of our lives. As a result, that failure embracing quality of resilience will now command a premium. The coming months will test and enhance our resilience as individual, organisations and society like never before:
- · PLANNING – Planning is a bit of a lost art in the world of Just-In-Time supply chains. JIT might seem like the ultimate choreography of “planning”, but it is more a system designed for the synchronisation of the present than preparedness for the future. It operates on a base assumption of input flows that arrive at just the right time. The spanner thrown in the works by coronavirus means that nearly everything has a lead time now, and a variable one at that. As a result, operations need to “shoot ahead of the bird” and anticipate when supplies will arrive and coordinate accordingly.
- · BACK-UP – Another operational muscle that has atrophied in the business world is the notion of back-up. If you can just get another with overnight turn-around, why keep many spares on hand? With the uncertainty of the post-corona world, more robust back-up protocols will be the norm.
- · CONTINGENCY – You can’t affordably (except in the most mission critical situations) hold complete duplication of your entire operation on stand-by. As a result, spares are limited to the (a) things that break the most, and (b) the things that cause the most difficulty when they break. But there will be parts that fall into between those definitions that you won’t have on hand, will break and you might not be able to replace or fix for a period of time. As a result, you will need to have a few “Plan B”s up your sleeve to manage those eventualities.
- · IMPROVISATION – When everything else FAILS, then you wing it. Apollo 13 style. In the relatively smooth functioning of recent years, the requirement for and skills in operational improv also haven’t been exercised that intensely. That will change.
- · SELF-RELIANCE – When you can’t get someone to repair something, the you might need to roll up your sleeves and figure out how to do it yourself. The broad portfolio of handyman/woman skills has also atrophied over time as there was always someone who could do it better than you and at a reasonable price. But those people are going to be in much tighter supply. Fortunately, the web is filled with “how to” videos on YouTube to help guide you through an exhaustive range of DIY troubleshooting.