The Davies Report – special pandemic edition – March 2020

The Davies Report - Thinking Risk Differently

Different times call for a different response

Welcome to this special edition of The Davies Report.

I’m sure you’re being inundated right now with information and offers to help, so we’ve taken care to keep things brief – to help you focus on the most important priorities.

Staying oriented and leading effectively

During a period of major and escalating dislocation it is important to be constantly oriented across multiple horizons.

  • Horizon 0: The current emergency management phase
  • Horizon 1: Standing down, standing back up and maintaining BAU
  • Horizon 2: The new world after a period of accelerated transition and reorientation

As I said on March 13, things are moving incredibly quickly. 

A shared view for your leadership team is essential. 

We recommend a view on a single page for each horizon, risk rated with clear colour codes to allow your leadership team to stay constantly oriented as things change. Call me if you need help.

Risk focus areas

Risk profiles and structures should be working fully and work well in normal and unusual times.

How risks present, interrelate and escalate will change, as will the responses, but the risk areas and governance processes and structures should endure. 

In particular your risks on a page should be in sync with decision making required right now.

If not they need a fundamental reset.

The risk focus areas in most industries that we’re seeing:

  • People: safety, workforce availability, maintaining capacity and competency, wellbeing, remote team support
  • Customer and customer experience: making sure the product and service experience is accessible and right for right now
  • Supply chain and operations: supplier and supply availability, third party knock on effects including cross border logistics and supplier viability
  • Finance risk management: credit, solvency, insurance, cashflow, debt covenants etc.
  • Capability to support BAU & maintain critical controls
  • Product and service innovation: ramping down to MVP and scaling back up or relaunching a v2.0
  • Comms and accountability: making sure people are very clear on what’s required of them
  • Cyber and other crime: heightened risk right now. Increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks as one preferred vector and malware and trojans as a current focus.
  • BAU performance: The boring BAU stuff that could bite later.

Few reports have had the time to go into the interplay of second and third order effects on a multi-sector multi-scale basis.  This is where great strategy, risk response and next week’s news lives (horizon 2 executed in horizons 0 & 1). 

We’ve got a very well tested process to do this. Call us if you need a hand.

Different approach required

Many organisations are 2-3 weeks ahead of the curve on some risks and response plans – particularly their core business, and up to 2-3 weeks behind on others, which is causing significant unmanaged risk.

Information and unbiased advice without a sales and marketing agenda is hard to get to. Much is in lag. Early intelligence is essential.

We’ve activated, reactivated and refreshed a few channels to help.

On Monday we launched a daily video series via LinkedIn on the issues of the day. We’ve been really pleased with the response to the video launch. As I write we’re approaching 10,000 views. Each video runs for around four minutes. We hope you find them useful.

We host a ARC discussion group on LinkedIn and have repurposed that group to allow sharing of ideas for that group. If you are on an audit/risk committee in Australia please join the group.

It’s critically important to follow advice from tier 1 sources in Australia. We’ve set up a Twitter list of State CMOs, Premiers etc here.  My personal Twitter still in its usual format and I’m calling out things as I see them and it’s the fastest media form. These are all free resources and our way of helping where we can.

Staying in front

In the 72 hours up to March 13 we reviewed multiple pandemic plans across various sectors. 

While these were very good and the fundamentals are sound, more than likely aspects of those plans have been updated half a dozen times since then – most likely on a daily basis. Such is the pace of change.

Information and best practice risk responses are evolving on a daily, if not hourly basis. 

As we mentioned before many organisations are 2-3 days or weeks ahead of behind each other on various issues and how to respond. This is a challenge to keep pace for all of us.

If you haven’t already, we’d suggest booking a short sharp session with our team to review your current approach, risk profile and risk response plan to make sure you don’t have any blind spots based on current information. This will give you confidence to proceed or know if you need help.

We are also considering standing up one or more cross-industry sessions to help gather intelligence on what’s coming and how leading organisations are responding so that everyone is 2 weeks ahead and not 2 weeks behind.
If either of these are of interest please let me know.

Some ways we can help

Leadership capacity is very stretched right now. The ability to deal with everything on right now is difficult without additional strategic support.
Decisions are high stakes in a rapidly moving environment and this needs an approach that is fit for purpose.

If you need facilitated discussions, challenge and strategy sessions delivered remotely, rapid plans on a page or strategy on the fly or someone standing up quickly – that’s what we do. 

Rest assured we can also support you remotely. Remote delivery has been our preferred delivery mode since 2011. We are old hands at remote service. Our remote service options are well tested and hardened.  We can walk you through first time set up if required.

We also have highly experienced CROs of ASX 50 companies ready to go, virtually and locally in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney on a locum or extended basis to boost your strategic support. If you need tier 1 strategic support, we are ready.

In times like this one of the most important things is keeping communication channels open and supporting each other.

If you’d like to talk let’s do that. Contact details below. We’re here if you need us.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones. We’re physically distant but it’s the time to be socially together.

Best wishes

Todd Davies