Lockdown. What are we learning?

April 09 2020

I was naïve. Really naïve. I work from home 75-80% of my time and I don’t serve intelligence to key worker industries per se, so conversations, business and projects would carry on as normal right? Or as normally as they could - liaising over e-mail, or Skype or Zoom. That’s how a lot of business is done nowadays anyway right? 

Well to some degree yes, but in the midst of a crisis, focus changes from BAU to leaders wanting to regroup, strategies analysed, priorities changed, and I understand that. But what of the BAU ‘stuff’ that still needs finishing? I know of people who were due to start new jobs, had handed in their notice, but the role was pulled last minute because of the uncertainty surrounding this very unique situation. Why? There have been so many unnecessary casualties because of this situation and I’m sure many more to come.

When all is said and done however, business has to continue. The economy is relying on it. Our sanity is relying on it. And the government is relying on it judging by the millions and millions of pounds they are spending keeping our heads above water.

So, we simply cannot allow ourselves to grind to a halt. We have to adjust, we have to pivot, but all whilst being sensitive to those for whom this might not be possible.

Why weren’t we ready for this?

For me, and many of my generation, this is undeniably the biggest thing that has happened to our country, but we need to come out of it and have learned from it. We were not ready for this. The volume of media posts about adapting to ‘life working from home’, the number of people furloughed because of not being able to continue BAU, demonstrates that business continuity plans hadn’t allowed for something of this magnitude.

So, what now? Up and down the country, every business should be scrutinising their business continuity plans, so those who are lucky enough to come through this, do not face similar problems in the future if, or when, something like this happens again.

Business continuity has typically focused on physical infrastructure together with IT, but now, in order to keep businesses running, the skills supply chain will now become much more crucial.

Talent strategy’s new considerations

Businesses will now need to model and very quickly, in real time, skills against locations, but also how those locations stack up in terms of infrastructure- so mobile networks, internet speed and bandwidth, together with transport infrastructure and commute times.  All key to understanding business risks when looking at virtual and remote working should crisis situations as we are currently facing arise again - or continue further, if as many now fear, that the effects of COVID-19 will be with us for 12 months plus.

Our platform, Stratigens™, is configured to provide this information in seconds and in real time from over 1400 global data sources and information taken from over 360 million profiles. The data is there to show you where the risks lie. Overlay this with the changing dynamics of skills, attributes, experiences that make up a location profile and you hold the key to long term sustainable workforce supply management, whatever the scenario.