It’s often been said that the only certainty in life is that life is uncertain. That’s possibly a defining statement that all can agree on, or at least most of us anyway. Accepting the statement as a given doesn’t mean that we don’t plan as best we can to deal with uncertainty.

As crises go, a global pandemic is a big one. In the midst of this crisis there was little time to methodically map out a response plan because things were moving and shifting by the hour. As we watched the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the globe, our collective response was to stand, fight, coordinate and mobilize our resources to lessen the impact of the pandemic on the population and economy. An ‘all hands on deck’ approach was quickly mounted that engaged various levels of government, public health agencies, nonprofit and community-based organizations, funders and the business community. All rallied to combat the spread and alleviate the impact and social and economic fallout.

The Region of Peel and the cities of Brampton, Mississauga and the Town of Caledon and the hundreds of community organizations operating within its boundaries, all stepped up in a big way.  With a special focus on reaching out to vulnerable and marginalized populations, special initiatives were quickly launched.  The Region of Peel convened a Community Response Table (CRT), a virtual meeting space that connects three times a week.  The CRT is a forum for updates, sharing of information, identifying service gaps, idea formulation and generation, mobilization, coordination and collaboration.  

It was declared this past week that Canada has flattened the curve on the virus and with that, attention is now being turned to the next stage of the response – recovery.  Plans are being unveiled to slowly relax eight weeks of social restrictions. As we move into this new stage, there are things we have learned that will undoubtedly stick around and have life beyond the timeframe of this crisis.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic many organizations would, at the very least, acknowledge the need for having a crisis management plan in place. From a risk perspective, the COVID-19 health crisis highlights the importance of including crisis management as part of an organizations’ risk management program. PLC has developed a crisis management framework that will help organizations develop a plan. For more information regarding this framework please email us at info@peelleadershipcentre.org.

Whether operating in the public, private or the nonprofit spheres, it will be critical for organizations to incorporate the ability to be agile, adaptable, sustainable, generative and integrative into organizational DNA. By doing so, they will certainly be better positioned to respond to the next certain uncertainty.

Can you can think of other features organizations can incorporate?

In upcoming blogs PLC will explore each of the five areas – agility, adaptability, sustainability, generative and integrative.

Until next time, continue your efforts to keep safe.

Your remotely working PLC Team

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