There is a risk we are becoming complacent. We must open up the economy as the Government cannot keep 25 million people on life support for an extended period. In opening the economy we accept the risk of another virus outbreak. It is time to plan for business continuity in a dangerous world.
The risk is escalated by other countries, many less successful in controlling the pandemic environment.
Around the globe people are increasingly willing to live with further outbreaks of Coronavirus; while continuing with their lives. It may not be feasible to shut down entire economies time and time again.
Which brings us back to our culture and arts institutions. Returning to work in a ‘new normal’ is not the end of a process. It may be only the end of a stage. Every instinct, along with a risk assessment, warn us to expect further outbreaks, maybe even another pandemic. We have no control over the time frame. We only have control over how we prepare for the possibility.
When the next outbreak occurs how you manage and operate your business will change forever.
How will you function in an environment where sick people, including employees and volunteers, are coming through the door everyday? How will you continue to operate within a high sickness and mortality environment? What succession plans will you have in place? How much money will you need in reserve to enable you to function at a break even scenario?
These and other questions should be occupying the minds of Boards, Committees and managers of each and every arts organisation over the next few months. If you do not have the conversation you are being negligent. Look out for changes in how insurers word future policies!
Many organisations have inadequate business continuity plans in place, and those with them have little information on how to work through a pandemic. It is time to update or create those business continuity plans, taking the lessons learned in recent months and projecting them into an unknowable future.
A look at disaster planning for the National Gallery Australia shows a business continuity plan that includes Emergency Response Plan, Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan, Pandemic Plan and Works of Art Disaster Recovery Plans.
If you would like someone to guide your organisation through a future scenario planning process or are looking to update your business continuity plan reach out to John.
Let’s start the conversation.
John Coxon is founder of art4u.australia a consulting agency helping arts organisations to become viable and sustainable through application of The Cycle organisational model.