Bouncing Back from Adversity in the Time of COVID-19

August 10, 2020 Andrew Bissett

The pandemic has presented an opportunity to reassess the way companies across Australia are run. Leaders are beginning to recognize what their core business is and are focusing on it to maintain operational resilience.

  • How can businesses plan for this new normal, which is characterized by so many unknowns?
  • A recent roundtable discussion examined the need for organizations to stay operationally resilient and explored what this means in practice.
  • Business performance management, leadership soft skills, employee well-being and technology are the key issues businesses need to address immediately for a successful recovery.

In June*, Australia was at a turning point in its coronavirus recovery process. It was no longer in full crisis mode and in most states, lockdown restrictions were being eased. As such, businesses need to start a new phase of adaptation so they can successfully operate in a climate that is more like it was before the pandemic, but which is also very different from life before COVID-19. The economy is fragile: it is vital that economic activity restarts. 

With this in mind, how can businesses plan for this new environment – which is characterized by so many unknowns? 

On 24 June 2020, SAI Global and Governance Institute of Australia held a virtual roundtable with senior risk and governance practitioners on the topic, “Bouncing Back from Adversity in the Time of COVID-19.” The roundtable discussion addressed the need for organizations to stay operationally resilient in the new normal and explored what this might mean in practice. It also reflected on how prepared risk professionals felt as they were going into the crisis, and what they have learned from their lockdown experience.

Most importantly, it was an opportunity for risk professionals across a range of industries to share personal stories and experiences from the first three months of COVID-19 restrictions and to learn from one another.

Discover insights: Read more details and key findings from the roundtable with the Governance Institute of Australia.


*A note: Since the roundtable discussions took place in June, the state of Victoria has gone into a “State of Disaster” with Stage 4 Lockdown and restrictions in place as of August 2, 2020 – the state most affected by a ‘second wave’ in Australia. Non-essential businesses across metropolitan Melbourne have been forced to close, with some essential businesses forced to operate with a reduced workforce. As of August 8th,  Queensland will close its borders to New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria to curb the spread of coronavirus from the south-eastern states.


Accelerate your Journey to the Next Normal with Purpose-built EHS Automation Software: SAI360’s COVID-19 Essentials Pack is a future-proofed, scalable and comprehensive solution to help risk and EHS professionals maintain visibility of health and safety risks now and in the future.

Visit our pandemic information center, which includes reading materials, podcasts, shareable videos, and best-practice guidance around managing business continuity, compliance, workforce health and safety, and risk management as we all navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

About the Author

Andrew Bissett

Andrew is a commercially focused governance professional with over 25 years of experience in building and embedding better practice governance and resilience processes within organisations. He believes all organisations need to appropriately balance conformance and performance to achieve long term sustainability. He has worked with a variety of organisations at an executive and board level and has extensive experience across a number of industry sectors, including: aviation, oil and gas, energy, retail, information technology, government, telecommunications and financial services.

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