The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Being prepared

In situations of crisis, the first reaction usually is to act.

It often works as with a crisis at hand it’s easier for everyone to see priorities and concentrate on dealing with them.

With the current state of globalization and the ability to be informed perspectives on crisis have changed too. We can see them coming if we care to look. That might not be valid for everyone as the crisis will have started somewhere and will be visible because people or nature are affected. But for everyone else, the available information is the possibility to act proactively.

What and how to prepare for, will be different for everyone. It depends on our role.

Take the current situation for example. The coronavirus is spreading. It results in more and more countries closing schools and asking people to stay home in places in which the virus appeared.

The evident preparation everyone is talking about is how to survive when having to stay at home and how to avoid contact with the virus. The focus is first and foremost on individual safety.

For organizations the situation is different.

For most of those using a system of producing their goods across the world, there is a need to ship goods from one place to the other. It’s an imminent threat for their business as such as they need all entities to work as planned. With one of them failing, the entire production is threatened.

For those having entities in areas where people are invited to stay at home, the question becomes how to keep up producing the work. It leads to searching for ways to enable people to work from home and how.

When a crisis appears, the first question any organization needs to ask itself is “how are we impacted?”

It serves to ask “how” instead of “if, as the existence of a crisis always creates an impact. It’s by learning which one it is, that the organization can determine how relevant the impact is.

Once the relevance becomes clear, it is also clear where and when a business will be affected by the crisis. That’s when it needs to be able to address it.

“How are we impacted?” is a simple question.

At the same time, it is one that allows seeing how to prepare one’s organization and care for the people within the organization.

Leaning further into the preparation, NOBL set out to describe three zones of attention that need to be considered when switching to remote work:  policies, systems, and people.

While it might not be necessary to switch overnight to remote work it’s a threat for an organization to bet on it and assume that it is an easy switch.


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