5 steps to help your business be resilient in the face of social change

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One minute, it’s business as usual. The next minute, you’re in crisis response mode. Current events can disrupt businesses, and it’s your job to understand how situations in society can impact your business. Your ability to continuously assess risk and adapt will determine your reputation and can leave a lasting impact. Here are five steps to help your organization come together and be resilient:

1. Understand the situation.

What’s going on right now? Is it a war? Is it a contested election? Keep your eyes and ears open to reliable sources of information in order to be aware of current events.

2. Identify the relationship between the situation and your service or product.

Is this current event related to the company? Does this impact your organization’s services or products? Are your organization’s resources contributing to the current situation and, in turn, contributing to it in a negative way?

For example, people might take advantage of your platform to spread misinformation and undermine facts. Others may be using your platform to quickly transfer digital money to help people in another country.

Whether your offers are used for good or bad purposes, understand how your resources are being used.

3. Determine what steps you can take to adapt and deal with the situation.

Once you’re clear on how your offers relate to the current event, decide if you should respond. Do you need to adapt your revenue model to ensure that malicious actors do not take advantage of your services? Should you temporarily block a specific cohort from using your platform? Should you make it easier for people to sign up?

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4. Decide if you can use existing processes applied elsewhere or if you need to develop new techniques or resources.

When you feel pressured to act, be smart. To be more effective and efficient, leverage the processes you have in place to try to resolve issues. You may not have to reinvent the wheel. When time is of the essence, you want to leverage what you already have in place, whether it’s an algorithm or the wording of a policy you’ve used before. In some cases, however, you may find that you need to create a new process to best resolve the issue.

To make sure you act smart, collaborate with others. Gather cross-functional teammates to ensure your decisions are based on a thorough assessment of the situation.

5. Reflect and implement lessons learned to be better equipped to deal with future situations.

Reflecting on the situation and how you handled it is equally important to your real-time response. Perform an after action report to identify strengths and weaknesses so you can take actionable steps to improve. Proactive risk mitigation is essential to the continuity of your business operations.

Amidst a rapidly changing societal landscape, your company’s resources could be hailed as the best invention ever one day and be despised by society the next. Although you cannot control external events, you can be prepared to react.

Identify the external situation and how it connects with what your organization provides. Determine how you can deal with the situation, considering both existing processes you can leverage and processes you need to create to adapt to the current situation. Use what you have learned in the current instance to strengthen your preparedness for future and unforeseen circumstances.

What steps are you taking to help your organization adapt to change?

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