Is your business locked down or severely restricted? Are cashflows down and futures uncertain? Does this sound like your situation? Strangely enough, now is the best time to get moving on restarting your business. From a disaster management perspective, planning recovery, and returning to business as usual, is the first thing to do after an emergency is recognised once ensuring the safety of the community. Resilient Services will be discussing disaster recovery and first-mover advantage via an interactive webinar at 12:00pm on 18 August 2020.

The contrasting responses from the NRL & AFL executive is an uncanny example of first-mover advantage.

The Victorian Government has imposed Stage 4 restrictions to stem COVID-19 transmission amongst the community. It is uncertain whether Stage 4 will continue for longer than 6 weeks. To be frank, it is somewhat irrelevant; what is certain that many businesses are unable to trade, and those that can are heavily restricted.

The AFL and NRL presented an interesting test case back when their seasons were suspended on 22 March. Peter Vlandys, the NRL CEO discussed options to resume the competition during the press conference announcing the NRL’s season suspension on 22 March. V’landy’s declared a resumption date of 28 May on 22 April. He was roundly criticised and branded a fool by the public.

The AFL, on the other hand, announced the decision to suspend their season on 22 March. During the press conference, the CEO set a review date for the end of May, when they would be guided by public health authorities and government for probable and safe resumption dates. The AFL CEO Gillian McLaughlin was celebrated by the media and government figures for his sound community-minded approach. In contrast, the NRL CEO was presented as a maverick and a buffoon.

The result, the NRL season recommenced on 28 May, whereas the AFL did not recommence until 11 June. V’landys, the CEO vilified by the media got it right, while the media’s darling McLaughlin waited another two weeks to resume. This delay cost the AFL at least $13 million when TV rights, sponsorship and other factors are considered.

The moral to this story is that bold, and sometimes unpopular decisions are required when facing disasters. You must declare your recovery ASAP and set an action plan to meet this declaration. The NRL’s announcement that the season would resume ASAP ensured the organisation was ready and innovated to discover ways to achieve their goal. The AFL, while being guided by government, was slow to move and, now in August, they are attempting to make up for the lost time.

You must follow government guidelines, but the government’s current priority is public health, not your business. You must take control, be bold and ensure that you’re operational before the time that your competitors are.

Resilient Services have advised ASX Top 100 companies and Governments on disaster management. As mentioned, you are invited to a free webinar on Tuesday 18 August at noon to outline practical steps of how you can resume business at the earliest opportunity.  John Gawne, our Managing Director, will conduct the seminar. John holds Post Graduate Degrees in Business and Disaster Management.

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