Many will remember the character Tattoo, from the TV show Fantasy Island. He was famous for calling out “The plane! The plane!” as the seaplane approached the island at the beginning of each episode.  We bring that iconic memory forward to reinforce something that we recommend all business owners to do this fall as we come out of over 7 months of dealing with a pandemic that changed so much of what each organization does.  That recommendation is “DEBRIEF! DEBRIEF!”

Do you have a business continuity plan?

There is no better way of forward planning than beginning by debriefing and reviewing what you and your organization did in response to COVID-19 and all that it brought.  The learning and insight gained from a retrospective view provide great fodder for future planning.  Here are some key elements we suggest for the debrief process:

  • Set a specific meeting time and place for all involved to congregate and debrief.  This will never happen unless it is an organized and planned event.
    • Allow enough time, maybe more than you think, and get all key players together. If someone important is missing, something is sure to be lost.
  • Set a specific set of goals for what you want to accomplish at this debrief session.
    • At a minimum we would suggest:
      • What we did right
      • What we did wrong
      • What we will do differently (again? not do?)
      • How we can be better prepared
  • Ensure that there are no sacred cows
    • Everyone can say that they have never been through something like this before, so make it safe for everyone to share all that happened–the good, bad and the ugly. Get it all out. Even though some of the items of discussion are only months old, some might have forgotten key things. Try to avoid that. Encourage all to be honest, even if it hurts themselves or others. And celebrate the wins, the good things, the nice surprises!
  • Recap the meeting
    • Summarize and prepare a plan.
    • Include all key action items and identify the owners of the items ensuring they deliver on those items at the necessary intervals.
    • Execute the plan!

Why are we comfortable making these recommendations? At IT Radix, we do this on a regular basis, and we have done this formally after disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and the famous “Goose is Cooked” incident and others.  Therefore, when COVID-19 hit, we were almost fully prepared.  Well, no one could have been fully prepared for the pandemic!  But, we had already ensured that all staff were fully capable of working remotely (we do a fire drill every year in anticipation of heavy snow days when no one can get to the office.)  Most staff members have laptops, headsets with mics/speakers, remote VoIP phone capabilities on their computers, and for some, on their mobile devices.  Key documentation and business applications were already in the cloud so no staff member was dependent on access to anything in the building.

We also provide our clients with plenty of resources for ensuring business continuity.  Click here for help developing a “Keep Working” plan and request your FREE Disaster Prevention Planning Toolkit today!

So please… we strongly encourage your organization to DEBRIEF on how to be ready for the next pandemic or other business disaster.  Know that we are here and ready to help!