Authored by; Walter Ehrlich, IRMSA Risk Intelligence Committee Member
COVID-19 is a numbers game and only a strategic response can alter the numbers. That is true for the country and for your organisation.
If your only focus regarding COVID-19 is to look at operational crisis management you need to rethink your approach.
The war against COVID-19 must be fought by understanding the numbers and responding to them strategically.
If your organisation does not yet have an infection, based on probability, it is only a matter of time before your first employee is infected with COVID-19.
How you respond to that event operationally is important.
However, how you respond to the day-to-day growth in the transmission rate, that will inevitably follow, is of greater strategic importance. This is the battlefield on which your organisation will win or lose the war against COVID-19.
Your organisation must establish upfront trigger points and actions that will come into effect immediately upon the trigger point (a pre-set number) being reached.
At that stage hours will become critical and you certainly won’t have the luxury of time to deliberate and write long motivations to leadership.
The phrase is familiar to us but do we recognise what it means?
As risk managers we must understand what exponential growth is, where it comes from, what it implies, and when it stops? Only then can we advise our organisations on how to respond to COVID-19 strategically.
Trust me, I am neither a scientist nor a mathematician but I have made a point of gaining a layman’s understanding of the topic which I want to share with you.
The following resources are useful to gain an understanding on the topic of exponential growth:
We need to make difficult decisions to make a positive contribution to bring the national, and in time your own, inflection point forward, even if it impacts on your business objectives.
There is no question that there are downsides to implementing certain strategies and every organisation, public and private, is grappling to strike a balance between fighting COVID-19, protecting employees, and running an effective organisation.
We cannot expect government to solve the problem on its own.
Every organisation, public or private, including your organisation must take strategic action to slow down the risk of transmission.
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