• Shohreh R Aftahi, PhD

How to Get Ahead of The COVID-19 Crisis



It all started as a global pandemic, and now it’s transformed into the most significant economic crisis of modern days. Do you have what you need to get ahead of this crisis?

The novel pandemic is spreading at an astonishing pace, triggering one of humanity’s most devastating economic fallout. Unless you have comprehensive, detailed, and flexible plans in place that will consider all possible scenarios you may encounter across all time horizons, you will not be able to absorb the shock, and save the company you worked so hard to build; and continue protecting your employees, and serving your client’s needs. You must implement changes to your operations that adapt to the uncertain and ever-changing needs of the current business environment.


To stay ahead, most companies need to focus on two primary activities: a) Be on top of the daily events, and how each one affects your business in all time horizons. B) Create scenarios based on the facts gathered and develop strategies and tactical actions across all time horizons. These should be reoccurring activities until the storm and uncertainty of the current situation have dissipated. It is imperative to have a goal that is, above all else.


You may be keeping as calm as you can and waiting, which may be the right approach for you in the long run, but could you block the bleeding if you change some aspects of your business model to be more productive now? Reality is that many have to make decisive changes to their business model and may even have to restructure their business on a large scale. Speed in adopting this type of approach is essential to your final success.






Though smaller companies may be able to use one team (maybe the leadership team) to accomplish these tasks, larger companies may need to put in place more than one team to mitigate the risk from the crisis and prepare ahead of time for each stage. The planning team must integrate new intelligence continually.



You must be strategic and tactical in your approach. Uncertainty is the only constant in the COVID-19 era. Confront it realistically and set fear aside.

It is imperative to adopt a perspective about what has permanently changed by disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The adoption of such a view will help you avoid a limited approach to what awaits you in the future. Furthermore, you will be able to take a clear stance and prevent wasting your resources.


Successful companies and visionaries have done this repeatedly throughout history. Take the example of Bill Gates in the 80s. He was not sure which OS (operating system) would dominate the market, but he knew that, however, things played out, personal computing would dominate the future.


How can you ensure the future you envision for your company and people? The first step is being informed of the COVID-19 disruptions, consequences, and opportunities. Secondly, creating strategic goals and tactics for each possible situation, and the third step is to be flexible to adjust each element in a world that is continually changing.