Are you ready for the unprecedented event?
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic has fully played out, the last decade will already go down in history as the one where records were created.
The decade started with the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and those of us who aren't a body corporate manager in Christchurch can't imagine the amount of work and stress that would have been involved (and still is) coping with all of the issues - especially having to deal with unresponsive insurance companies.
Since then we have had extreme weather events, road closures due to fires and infrastructure failures, business interruption due to infrastructure upgrades, the terrorist attack on the two Christchurch mosques and now we have a pandemic.
We appear to be in an era of unpredictable and unprecedented events many of which will affect our businesses and lives in general. But while we might not be able to predict what we might be faced with next, we can predict that over the next decade there will be more significant events and the new normal operating environment for bodies corporate and body corporate managers is one that will be disrupted for one reason or another.
So are you ready? Do you have a disaster recovery or disrupted business operating plan?
Let's look at the things you might want to include in such a plan
First I want to make the point it's not just about the ability to respond from your existing business model and base. As an example, see the press release from an Australian Strata Company that has just released their Covid-19 action plan. In reality what they are planning is pretty easy providing their people can actually get to those meetings. So while their response might appeal from a PR point of view, it doesn't make their business better equipped to handle the next event.
What I'm talking about is real structural changes in the way your business operates so you are agile enough to can deal with any other disaster that you have to face. Including ones we can't even imagine right now.
The most important consideration is this - Can your staff work from home? Or at least away from the office?
Are you people sufficiently trained - and trustworthy - that they can operate from home or elsewhere if, for any reason, they can't come to the office.
Are they able to take laptops home? Maybe that's going to be the norm. Consider having everyone take their laptop home every night. That will be more of a problem if your still running desktops. Maybe you've bought your last desktop?
Are your systems in the cloud? As examples, could your staff send out a notice of meeting, or an invoice, or prepare a Pre-Contract Disclosure Statement without being in your office?
Is there a way you can run a committee meeting without having to get everyone into the same room? Or even an AGM? Maybe you will need to make full use of S104.
Hopefully you're getting the idea. The idea is that you don't have to try and predict what events might happen but to adapt your business so it is more agile and can respond to anything that is thrown at you.
Maybe at least just start the conversation. Good luck with that and welcome to the new normal.
Updated by John Bradley
15 March 2020
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The Plan Heaven team.
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