Waking the Zombies

In the UK, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has returned to work on 27 April 2020, the economy in many sectors is in a zombie-like state of decline. The economic output level has also declined at unprecedented speed.

What’s Been Going On?

Remote working, furloughing, supply chains cancelled, contracts overlooked, empty order books and more. Bad news on bad news is all pandemic related. We are in a zombie state across all affected businesses. Equally, you can now sense that we have permission to do stuff that we wouldn’t usually be able to do, to cut red tape, speed up decisions and make it happen in a new creative way – if we are still awake and operating. Indeed, some early innovators have already broken the trend and seen improved revenues.

Becoming a Survivor

This will end, but can you take advantage of these positive factors and wake the zombies in your organisation to be successful survivors?

Nine Feet Tall’s view is these are 3 key areas to get you set up now to exit the zombie state and win:

  1. Act quickly on the best information you have
  2. Use this opportunity to innovate and change
  3. Increase your communication to both engage and assure

Act quickly on the best information you have

In a crisis doing nothing is your enemy. Get the best information you can, review this, agree on actions and set out your plan. The full economic outlook cannot be divorced from the health crisis, but what you can do is work out your strategy and deliver it. Things change quickly so review your delivery against key targets and milestones, be agile and flexible using fundamental project principles and achieve things you would not usually be able to do so rapidly.

Use this opportunity to innovate and change

Furloughing meaning slimmer organisations and harsh economic realities mean that you can now carve a new way forward to innovate and improve and at pace as the red tape of control is temporarily cut. We have seen this in many examples, work activities that could not be delivered outside of the office walls before are now common practice and delivered almost overnight. Whole teams working from home across multiple sectors, new ways of working in legal where wills can be recorded by video and social distancing approaches used to continue the witnessing of documents, the list is endless. So, take a look now at your processes, your services and your opportunities to improve and add value. Do this now and secure small wins to innovate and change forever, which focus on what will be high-value areas when the zombie economy awakes.

Increase your communication to both engage and assure

It’s always about communication and this is no exception to that rule. Look at Sweden today where the BBC reports that despite the economy re-opening people are staying away in massive numbers. So, this is a time to ramp up the communications – with your team, your customers, your wider stakeholders. Communicate – often and to a high quality – inform, assure and remain relevant and front of mind to keep the relationships strong. As a survivor, you need to excel at communication and engagement, as the zombies wake up the economy will recover and the best will do well, so position your organisation now to win in the ‘new normal’.


  • John Glen- Covid19: Economic Impact of the Coronavirus’ webinar, 21 April 2020
  • BBC News www site 27 April 2020


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