As with so many things, how businesses have managed to cope with the effects of the pandemic appears to rely on the random luck of the sector they are in or whether they have been in a position to pivot enough to keep going.

There is no question that 2020 has taken its toll on people in many ways, and many of us are being forced to build, or rebuild our resilience. If you already have an established support network and plenty of self-motivation, then you are in a stronger position. If not, then where do you start as an individual and as a team?

In the post-Covid environment we need to find a way through the crisis to survive, through the mental and physical exhaustion to rebuild, and through the competition to grow. And for that we need to build resilience.

Your response to a crisis inevitably highlights areas of weakness so this is exactly the time for honest reflection. Once you identify what did not go well then ask yourself why, and even if it feels brutal, be honest. From this point you can develop and practically improve your response for the next time.

It’s important to know what you would to do in theory, but you must also back yourself to act. Paying lip service through a policy is unhelpful if the process doesn’t work. And if it didn’t, then adapt and refine until it does.

Don’t underestimate the support to be gained from others. Network, and consider opportunities that you might previously have overlooked. Could you usefully reinstate any skills or expertise that you thought were obsolete? If not, you’ve lost nothing by the thought process, and it may even spark a useful idea elsewhere.

Keep on top of your customer engagement. Things, for the time being at least, have changed and if your customers’ behaviour has as a result, then you need to know you so you can adapt your response.

Stay calm and rational. Something that was poor practice before the pandemic still is. Having been through 2021, what would you do now to prepare of you knew it was going to happen again? It’s even possible that some of your procedures have improved things. For example, remote working may have reduced overheads or increased productivity. Think clearly about how to optimise new routines for the future.

By honestly reflecting on lessons learned, you can use that reflection to inform your actions moving forward. Resilience is the knowledge that you can and have coped and will do so again if you have to.

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