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Life after a Pandemic – Part 3

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by Dr Wendyann Richardson

This week explores the third and final part of the series ‘Life after a Pandemic’.

To date, an assessment of our present condition was presented as the first necessary step on the quest to move forward to economic recovery. The spotlight was then placed on our leaders, inclusive of our legislators, regulators and executives, on the premise that poor leadership results in poor corporate performance. Furthermore, an argument was submitted for mandatory continuous professional development for those on whose shoulders rest, the responsibility for the sustainability of our economy.

At this point in our discussion, I propose the implementation of the Deming ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act/Adjust’ (PDCA) circle in our corporations.

This initiative is a 4-step management method used for the efficient control and continuous quality improvement of organisational processes. Let us examine Step 1, Plan; in our society it appears that to ask our leaders to plan ahead is akin to trying to ‘squeeze blood out of stone’. The current pandemic has revealed the reactive culture that has taken residence in our corporations. Therefore, we beseech our leaders to be proactive and establish the course of action that necessitates the desired results in our corporations. This will prevent them from continuously being caught with their pants down.

Step 2, Do; implement the plan. Many of the leaders that have made it to Step 1 are stuck at Step 1. Despite, the many lengthy meetings and numerous proposed plans, a large majority of our leaders stop short of implementing the plans made. This results in perpetual planning, with no accompanying actions, similar to a hamster on a wheel.

Step 3, Check; it is of no consequence that a plan is made, then implemented but not evaluated. It is in Step 3 that leaders know definitively whether the decisions that were made are still in the best interest of the corporations.

Consequently, there need to be continuous checks for changes in the corporate environment.

Lastly Step 4, Act/Adjust; this step presents an opportunity to adjust the plans to account for environmental changes, thus, ensuring that the corporation remains on course.

To this end, our leaders now have another opportunity to clean house, replace the processes that no longer work and do some corporate introspection, to determine whether they are on the ‘hamster wheel’ to nowhere or they are making a worthwhile contribution to the sustainability of their corporations.