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Back to Business – Fall 2020

It has now been a little over six months since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic related to COVID-19 and restrictions began to be implemented across Canada.

For the most part, the daily news headlines remain quite grim, filled with stories about COVID-19 cases trending up, more economic devastation and concerns about a second wave. There can be no argument that COVID-19 has been and continues to be devastating and caution must continue to prevail.

But there is hope, and that comes not just from the possibility of a vaccine – check out COVID Good News Stories. You’ll find information there like the news about a British based firm that has launched a 20 second saliva-based COVID-19 test. A combination of better testing, contract tracing, new and/or better treatment protocols and possibly a vaccine, along with a positive outlook will get us to a better place. History confirms that humanity can overcome great challenges.

While the scientific community continues to seek out solutions, what should we be doing in our organizations to continue to work through COVID-19 and position ourselves for recovery without getting distracted by fear and the stream of bad news?

Earlier this summer I read an article in INC Magazine about Siemens. Siemens plans to change its leadership style to one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office to support a plan to permanently enable employees to work from anywhere they feel comfortable for an average of two to three days a week.

The article about Siemens points to the importance of reviewing strategic plans in the context of the COVID experience as we get back to business and head toward the last quarter of 2020.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How have your strategic goals been impacted?
  • Do you have a 90-day work plan to progress toward your goals in the next quarter?
  • Does your work plan reflect your experience with COVID and insight into what might come next?
  • Are you confident that you can articulate desired work plan outcomes across your organization to support a remote work situation and measure results?
  • Are you confident that your team has sufficient knowledge to identify and manage risk? Consider if your team members can respond to the following questions:
    • What are we trying to achieve?
    • What might prevent me and our team from achieving our objectives?
    • Which of the things that might prevent us from reaching our objectives are most significant?
    • What should be done about the most important things that might prevent us from reaching our objectives?

We can provide insight and support to help you address the questions above and change how you see financial management, risk management and planning as we continue to navigate the pandemic.

Francis Liska

Francis is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Internal Control Auditor and a Certified Management Consultant. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Cape Breton University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Information Technology. He has also completed graduate studies in decision analysis at Carleton University.

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