The world is undergoing an “all hands on deck” moment in which everyone needs to contribute to save lives. COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the government measures implemented to prevent its spread have been highly disruptive to everyday life. For example:
- Businesses have temporarily closed
- Gatherings and events have been canceled or rescheduled
- People have been asked to remain at home and avoid close contact with others
- Financial markets have turned volatile
The first instinct of many people would be to turn inward and focus on themselves. However, medical professionals, scientists, and policymakers have turned outward to try to make people safer, more comfortable, and, ultimately, healthier.
Business leaders of any size business can also contribute. In fact, small businesses donate to non-profits and community causes at more than double the rate of large businesses.
Business leaders can contribute more than monetarily, however. Business leaders have knowledge, experience, contacts, and access to resources that can be marshaled during a disaster like a pandemic to improve lives. Here are three ways business leadership can contribute during a crisis:
Experience Managing Supply Chains
If there is one skill that most business leaders have, it is managing a supply chain. Every business that makes or sells goods, and nearly every business that provides services, has a supply chain. Sourcing inputs, coordinating their delivery on schedule and under budget, and distributing the final product are daily tasks of most business leaders and are endlessly discussed at business coaching conferences.
Interestingly, nearly every disaster has a supply chain issue. Specifically, since resources are stockpiled in preparation for disasters, the first job of disaster relief is transporting resources from the stockpile to those who need them.
Equally importantly, if the stockpile is depleted, resources must be sourced from businesses, manufacturers, private citizens, and foreign governments. Once a source is located, the resources must be transported to where they are needed.
By applying their experience in supply chain management, business leaders can contribute to minimizing the impact of a disaster.
One of the great benefits of business leadership conferences is the connections business leaders make. Business leaders network with both speakers and attendees at these events.
When disaster strikes, contacts gleaned from business coaching conferences can be tapped for expertise or assistance. For example, the business leadership conferences 2020 had scheduled early on likely discussed coronavirus and its impact on China before it spread throughout the world. During these business leadership conferences, attendees may have met speakers who have experience in disaster response, epidemiology, and business recovery.
As coronavirus has spread, many of these contacts have likely become valuable assets in providing advice, guidance, or leadership as business leaders contribute to the pandemic response.
Passing on Knowledge
In addition to applying their knowledge to directly contribute, business leaders can also educate others. Experience is an invaluable resource that not every policymaker has. By sharing their knowledge and experience with others, business leaders can help to close that experience gap and bring policymakers up to speed.
Even though social distancing has resulted in cancellations of many in-person conferences, online leadership conferences and business coaching conferences can provide a vehicle for business leaders to become educators for those on the front lines of the pandemic.
Rather than feeling helpless during a crisis that seems outside anyone’s control, business leaders can help fight against the pandemic’s effects by managing disaster supply chains, utilizing connections to provide resources, information, and other forms of assistance to disaster responders, and sharing their knowledge and experience with those handling the disaster response.