Imagine the world post Coronavirus, act towards it and 'do your bit'


In times of crisis our first responsibility as company directors is the health and safety of our workforce, then we need to quickly step up to the many other business challenges. The Executive can run the business on a day to day basis.  It’s when the hard stuff comes along that directors show their worth and their wisdom and judgment is needed. It is also when we as citizens show our true worth.


What to do first

  • Ensure everyone is safe - should remain the first item on board agendas.
  • Think about how your staff, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders are feeling. What can you say to them?

How to do it

When a catastrophe comes along you are faced with making decisions that are part of a complex system (remember the butterfly effect). What are your governance processes for decision making when you are faced with making decisions in real time without adequate data?

  • Be creative with your options.
  • Continue to collect and monitor the data.
  • Test your ideas via trial and error.
  • Repeat the above.

Comment from Carmel MacMillan, Non Executive Director of Women on Boards 
‘I am finding in my decision making this week that I am really having to think outside the box. No precedence has been set on governing through a period such as this. You need to gather all the available data and make the best decision at the time'.

What the future might hold?

Coronavirus will be tamed - eventually. The question is are you prepared for the world after coronavirus?  What opportunities will the future offer? How will life be different? What trends are emerging?

Here are some of my picks
  • Telemedicine as an option for all – this is the long talked about catalyst for effective medical services; particularly for our rural and remote areas.
  • Better / different funding for national health services in UK and Australia, with greater cooperation between public and private health systems. Could this flow onto the education system?
  • Politicians acting in the national interest. Will this help to restore trust in the political institutions?
  • Innovative online services, such as high-end restaurants offering takeaway services. Will this help them to survive? Once the dust settles is this the competition for Uber Eats; is it a variant on their business model that can be sustained?
  • Critics as artists. Will our media focus on the positive a bit more, as well as holding the government to account?
  • Managing global warming - already power plant coal consumption is down by nearly 30% and the Air Quality Index is up by a similar amount.

Some ways to consider assisting your local community

In the meantime, we all need to continue daily life within our local community. Yet with so much changing, how can we support all members of our community in this time. Here is what I (and my family) are doing to 'do our bit.'

  • Buying takeaway coffees.
  • Ordering take away dinners from my usual dine-in restaurants.
  • Contributing to “virtual tip jars.”
  • Subscribing to online “tutorials.
  • Taking a 50% reduction on gym membership and attending virtual classes - not cancelling the  membership.
  • Scheduling 1-on-1 virtual appointments.
  • Buying online from community based and regional businesses.

Some other ways to assist with the school holidays coming up are:

  • A virtual museum tour.
  • Attend a live-streamed concert or an online classical concert performance. 
  • Make a donation; the musicians and performers have been stood down.
 And plenty of people in your community need help, including:
  • The elderly, disabled and immune compromised - why not be a shopping angel and deliver their groceries to their door.
  • Neighbours - talk to your elderly neighbour or aunt in a nursing home each day.
  • Friends - check in and have a regular chat.
Every little bit helps - and it is together than we will get through this crisis.

Ruth Medd

With thanks to: *Grant and Margaret of UGM at
The Hustle
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