Business leaders had continuity plans in place before Covid hit

Business leaders had continuity plans in place before Covid hit

Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland.

A NEW survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, has revealed that almost eight out of 10 (78%) business leaders say their organisation had a business continuity plan in place, to plan for possible disruption to business, in advance of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, of the 17% who conceded their organisation did not have a business continuity plan in place prior to the novel coronavirus, over half (51%) admit that their organisation still does not have a business continuity plan in place to deal with a future crisis.

The latest quarterly IoD Ireland Director Sentiment Monitor research, for the period Q4 2020, was conducted amongst its 3,000 members, comprising CEOs and company directors.

The survey also finds that 91% of business leaders reveal their business model has changed - either significantly or marginally - since the arrival of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Furthermore, IoD Ireland’s research finds that 58% of business leaders say the quality of board meetings has deteriorated - either significantly or marginally - since moving online. Just 18% say the quality of the meetings has improved, while nearly a quarter (23%) say there has been no change.

Commenting on the survey results, Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said: “While business leaders in Ireland are still trying to navigate their way through the COVID crisis, it is encouraging to highlight that nearly 8 out of 10 have had a business continuity plan in place to help plan for such an eventuality. Having a business continuity plan in place is not just a formulaic process. It’s absolutely essential, and even more so today, to allow a business to anticipate and effectively adapt and pivot during a crisis. Furthermore, developing a rolling strategy and adapting business models are essential considerations to ensure a business can deal with a constantly changing environment.” 

On the findings related to online board meetings, Ms Quinn added: “It is unsurprising that a majority of business leaders says the quality of board meetings has deteriorated since moving online, as so many of the critical dynamics of effective board meetings are difficult in the virtual space. However, until we can plan for the safe return of having in-person board meetings, the onus is on the chair and the board to recognise the limitations of the online experience and to enhance it as much as possible."

Among the selected advance key findings of the Director Sentiment Monitor survey for Q4 2020 are:

Business Continuity Plans: When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, did you have a business continuity plan in place in advance of Covid-19?’ the business leaders selected as follows: Yes: 78% No: 17% Not sure: 5%.

Of those who answered ‘No’, they were then asked: ‘In respect of your primary organisation, does it now have a business continuity plan in place to deal with a future crisis?’, the business leaders chose as follows: Yes: 44% No: 51% Not sure: 5%.

Business Models: When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, to what extent has your business model changed since the arrival of COVID-19?’ the business leaders chose as follows:

Changed significantly: 38% Changed marginally: 53% No change: 9%.

Online Board Meetings: When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, how would you rate the quality of your board meetings being held online/virtually in comparison to physical meetings?’ the business leaders selected as follows: Significantly deteriorated: 9% Marginally deteriorated: 49% Significantly improved: 2% Marginally improved: 16% No change: 23% Don’t know: 1%.#

Strategy: When asked, ‘In respect of your primary organisation, which statement would be most accurate with regard to your strategy implementation?’ the business leaders selected as follows: My organisation is still implementing an emergency strategic plan due to Covid-19: 15% My organisation is currently in the process of transitioning between strategic plans: 36% My organisation does not have a long-term strategy but implements a more horizon scanning approach: 15% My organisation is enforcing its long-term strategy: 31% Not applicable: 3%.

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