Those of us of a certain age were part of Y2K. Not just the moment when 1999 slipped into 2000, but the months of focused work leading up to that second. Businesses of all sizes prepared for every foreseeable outcome, based largely on whether or not complex systems underpinning our society would fail, leading to all manner of chaos.
The Y2K “disaster” did not happen.
So was all the work wasted?
A short time later, 9/11 hit. While no one could have “planned” for that, we were prepared for a dramatic interruption of normal business processes. In my case, as the head of communications at a 10,000 employee company I was able to dust off our communication plans and documents and quickly repurpose them for the situation at hand.
It was a good time to realize that we had good management and leadership practices in place. Among them:
- Technology to weather the storm and keep us connected as best possible.
- Communication channels and processes.
- Leadership in tune with people.
- Management practices focused on results.
- Culture of connection and collaboration.
- Business plans with contingencies.
- The right people to “go to war with.”
Whether you were ready for the current crisis or not, know this: It’s not over, and we’re not going back to whatever you viewed as “normal.”
Y2K will not happen again, but Y2What will. Are you ready? I’ve been there and back, and am happy to help you.