Business Response to a Biological Disruption
Business Response to a Biological Disruption
The Future Readiness Assessment tool
The COVID-19 crisis has dominated the headlines in news channels, led disruption within the marketplace, and impacted our personal psyche as individuals and collective groups. Due to the uncertainty on lockdown periods, indefinite development of vaccines and identification of treatment medicine, many Leaders are leaning towards speculation guided by personal instincts versus the normal business planning process based on known facts.
The Government in the Kingdom of Bahrain is playing a vital and proactive role in monitoring, managing and executing a Pandemic Crisis plan balancing between protecting the health and safety of its citizens and residents and the nation’s economic interests through the national stimulus package which currently stands at BD 4.3 billion. We should also recognize the invaluable contribution from our medical community in Bahrain which is working relentlessly in providing excellent healthcare sacrificing their personal health. We too, as business leaders and a stakeholder to the Government, marketplace and the community, have a critical role to play, in planning for a robust recovery post-crisis.
While the current crisis poses several unanswered questions in relation to both the immediate future, and the medium-to-long term ramifications on an organization and their stakeholders irrespective of geography or industry, it is truly an opportunity to develop holistic and future focused solutions through effective collaboration and stakeholder engagement. This will require each of us as leaders to test, assess and evaluate potential scenarios that may impact our people, clients, suppliers, and disrupt our overall business.
In the immediate future, it is critical for organizations to consider business continuity, effective financial and liquidity management, prudent risk management, investment in technology and security interventions, and a compassionate approach towards people and stakeholder management. While we have already witnessed and continue to experience some extremely effective crisis response plans and strategies within our stakeholder network, we also understand that leaders within organizations may experience different challenges, struggles, and insecurities that revolve around their personal and professional lives, experiences, circumstances and their overall outlook for the future.
Over the past couple of months, we have been working with clients and other stakeholders on a wide range of risk factors that are challenging and threatening to disrupt an organization’s operations and future survival. Some of these risk factors are even industry agnostic and have an inclusive impact in organizations across all sectors. The restrictions imposed due to the spread of COVID-19 has even created new risks, that either did not exist until three months ago; and has revitalized some risks that were deprioritized in the recent past on account of an organization’s strategy that only focused on precipitous growth.
As we look towards Future Readiness, we understand that regular and rapid recalibration of people, process and policies will be required to ensure that an organization is able to effectively engage their people and retain and develop their key skills; keep their perspectives aligned to their purpose; invest in the right solutions at the right time; proactively identify, monitor and manage their risks; and build a resilient strategy that leverages robust scenario planning.
Organizations are exploring new and innovative ways to connect with their customers, vendors and employees. Conferences with tens of thousands of attendees are shifting to a completely digital format—many organizations are making this transition with less than a few weeks’ notice. Leaders have had a “mind shift” from a ‘growth’ based strategy to a ‘risk’ based strategy. Investments towards an organizational digital strategy that was on the back burner for years, have not only moved up in the priority list, but have been accelerated from a planning phase to full implementation in a span of merely weeks.
Working with several clients and other stakeholders across the marketplace in the Kingdom, KPMG in Bahrain have designed and launched an online “Future Readiness Assessment” tool that will be accessible free of charge for all organizations across Bahrain. The tool provides every organization in Bahrain to be able to explore, understand and assess their business’s ‘Future Readiness’ across twelve critical aspects including - Business Continuity, Technology & Security, Strategy & Governance, Market & Growth, Customers, Financial Management, Compliance & Legal, Employees, Facilities Management, Health, Safety & Environment, Third Party Providers, and Risk Management. Beyond local market conditions the assessment also takes into consideration global best practices and provides business leaders with an elaborate perspective on future risks and challenges that might disrupt and challenge their operations.
We envisage that senior management at client organizations may typically assign the responsibility to assess their organizational planning and readiness to their Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer or Head of IA and report back to them and the Board accordingly. The Future Readiness Assessment tool (www.kpmglearninghub.com/covid19/ ) has been developed as our personal commitment from KPMG in Bahrain towards supporting our stakeholders across the marketplace, and may also highlight potential risk areas that may not necessarily be on the organization’s risk radar during this crisis. All participants will receive a summary report on completion of the assessment, and we also aim to engage and support the business leaders to better understand their reports and explore some of the areas of concern that might challenge their future resilience.
To be able to survive the current market scenario, and thrive post-crisis, organizations and their leaders will need to invest time, effort and attention towards planning and assessing their ‘Future Readiness’ today.
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