During chaos and uncertainty, it can be challenging to focus our nervous energy in productive ways. As a futurist who helps companies anticipate and navigate crises like this, I’m encouraging fellow leaders and global clients to engage their entire orgs in a set of strategic exercises.
The three activities below not only unite people around a shared cause, they can impart a sense of control and even optimism during tough times. Logistically, each exercise can be facilitated remotely by leaders or your L&D unit on a platform like Zoom, which enables live polling.
1. Engage in worst-case-scenario-planning. Start by remotely gathering people from across your entire company and presenting this challenge: “Knowing what we do about the coronavirus, what are the factors that could put us out of business this year?” When HBO did a similar exercise not long ago, it generated three pages of tactics. An American mining company used it to identify additional market threats. A city council in Texas has used it to steel itself against community risks.
In your own org, direct people to brainstorm all the ways that coronavirus could render the business obsolete — and have them write each tactic on a sticky note.