The Organizational ABCs: Always Bring Contingencies

You’ve heard it a million times: “These are unprecedented times.” Are you ready for a hot take? We’re always in unprecedented times. The present reality is always being referred to as the “new normal.”

Now don’t get me wrong. The coronavirus pandemic has taken hold of the global population, devastated the economy, and halted many organization’s operations. In other words: Even if we acknowledge that we’re always living in an unprecedented reality, these times are even more unprecedented than usual. And that’s fair enough.

But let’s indulge the hot take a little. Just think about what’s happened over the course of this young century alone:

  • 9/11
  • At least 3 other disease scares, including the domestic swine flu that led to a national emergency
  • The 2008 financial crisis
  • Major legislative changes, including the post-2008 financial regulatory reforms, GDPR, the ACA healthcare overhaul, Chinese tariffs, etc
  • The accelerating digital transformations of our age

Adopting a Prepper Mentality

The above shows that once every few years, or even few months, a large disruption happens. This is why we say the most overlooked risks are high-impact, low-probability risks.

How can you be prepared for the next eventuality? Will an EMP strike ever happen? Could a simple faraday cage around your servers make your organizations one of the few who could continue operations?

If everything has to be business-as-usual and assumes a 100% optimal environment in order to make revenue, then the organization needs to invest in contingencies. In volatile environments, no one trait gives a company a leg up on the rest. Adaptability itself is key. Or else, sooner or later, some new law, consumer trend, or virus strain will come along to knock you off course.

That’s why many organizations are left with little recourse for getting work done. They are impotently wondering, What can we do from here? What could we have done differently?

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