How Covid taught us to adapt, to change and embrace disruption

How Covid taught us to adapt, to change and embrace disruption

Despite years of crisis-plan development, business continuity training and annual drills, few of us were truly prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic at an organisational level. COVID brought about rapid, significant change at a scale only a global disaster can trigger.

Goodstart, like many other organisations, was deemed an essential service and needed to develop systems and processes quickly in order to continue to operate. These processes were based on insufficient and conflicting information, varied medical advice and an overwhelming amount of social misinformation. Then, no sooner had we implemented these new processes than the disease changed; Public Health Orders started flying, and the Anti-vaxxers changed gears!

The Pandemic not only forced us to make major operational changes in whiplash timeframes, but it also taught us that any new process needed to be ready to change again at a moment’s notice. In a distributed organisation like Goodstart, this requirement drove a number of important changes around design principles, operational frameworks and front-line leader empowerment.

Goodstart created flexible frameworks around constantly changing covid conditions and then trained and empowered frontline leaders to use these tools to make the best local decision. We coached “Central” management to trust their frontline leaders to make the best decisions for their Centre, and we built a new culture of collective accountability and network support.

For us, this has taught us more than a safety lesson. We have changed as an organisation and as a leadership team. Our entire structure is now changing to meet this adaptability requirement – driving accountability to where it really needs to be and making ‘disruption’ a part of the day-to-day plan.