You only need to recover if you have a crisis. After my car accident, I reviewed in my head all the little choices that led up to me being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Prepared for Recovery
I had car insurance to help ease the financial burden of accident recovery. Nevertheless, that didn’t prevent the accident from happening.
If you’ve prepared properly, you may not have much to worry about.
On my ride home from work that fateful day, I was observant of those cars around me. By nature, I am a very defensive driver. However, my assailant came out of nowhere and struck my vehicle.
Perhaps you kept your eyes open and were able to detect a problem early on. In such a case, you may have preempted any crisis and thus the need for recovery.
It is also possible that you scouted out your enemies and were able to neutralize their attacks before they adversely affected your business. Congratulations.
Alas, there will be times that despite your best efforts, something goes bad. A hurricane strikes. A competitor attacks. Someone runs a stop sign.
When your business has been attacked by a rival or even Mother Nature, you’ll probably ask: What do we do now?
Assess the Situation
“What just happened?” — These should be the first words out of your mouth after an “incident” occurs. Before you can start a recovery, you must accurately assess the current situation. For example, let’s say you are attacked on the business front:
- Who attacked you?
- Was this a one-time event or is the threat still present?
- What damage has been done?
- How bad is the bleeding? Are you still operational, do you still have customers, are you still making sales, etc?
Gather your Resources
Inform your people of the situation and gather together people that can work on the problem right now. This may require them delaying other projects if necessary. Make sure you have enough people to address the problem. How many is this? Check your plan…
Execute on the Plan
If you are prepared, you should have some strategy or even step-by-step guide to address the crisis. When your world is spinning, you probably aren’t thinking clearly enough to come up with excellent plans from scratch. Go to your prepared plan and adjust it to your current situation.
Since you can’t foresee all possible scenarios, you’ll need to be creative in solving problems. This may mean bending the rules, changing business processes, or pulling in extra help. Judging the magnitude of the attack to your company will help you determine just how creative you need to be.
Once your plan is being executed, you need to keep a pulse on the status. This will allow you be nimble and adjust quickly to changes.
Once business is back to normal (or close) you need to review the crisis events. What went wrong and how can you prevent it in the future?
Get back to work. Modify your preparations and plans to better handle crises in the future. Ideally you’ll refine your company such that you avoid most disasters altogether. For those that slip by, your well-oiled machine should be able to mitigate the effects of a crisis and continue on its merry way.
This is the final part of this four part series. You can review previous parts here:
- Part 1: Be Prepared
- Part 2: Be Observant
- Part 3: Identify your Enemy