Nonprofits, associations, and companies across the world are scrambling under a new normal from the COVID-19 crisis. But the lessons learned now are also preparing organizations to mitigate risk, find opportunity, and build for the future in ways that will make them rock solid when the next crisis, albeit on a hopefully smaller scale, occurs.
Here are three ways public and government affairs organizations can future-proof against the rapidly changing and difficult public policy landscape.
Bring Your Team Online:
With the rise and spread of COVID-19, working professionals across the world have become completely dispersed. Government and public affairs are grappling with the new reality of lobbying and advocating on behalf of their organizations and stakeholders entirely from home.
In order to future-proof your organization for the inevitable “worst case scenario,” you need to create an online workspace and repository for your team to access in the absence of a traditional office setting.
By documenting all aspects of your work and assigning responsibility and goals in one online place, you’ll be able to create a culture of seamless collaboration and transparency around your successes and failures.
It’s more important now than ever before to place relevant files, news articles and links all in a single shared place for your team to have access. Doing this will drive alignment and also help you capture valuable work products that may otherwise get lost in someone’s inbox or be left to hoping people follow best practices.
Create a Recovery Plan with Stakeholder Management:
Creating a recovery plan for your government relations or public affairs team to map out the necessary stakeholders and processes you need to activate once you can return to your offices will mean you’re ahead of the curve once the crisis abates.
Many teams are focusing on rebuilding their government and public affairs strategies through stakeholder management, which is the process through which teams are able to engage, activate, and mobilize their internal and external stakeholders around the most important public policy issues.
Creating a stakeholder management strategy will allow your team to hit the ground running once you can leave the safety of your home and connect with lawmakers, business leaders, and grassroots networks that are highly fragmented and disconnected right now.
Your team will be able to identify, engage with, and align key stakeholders around a common public policy issue that has been put on hold as a result of this pandemic.
Identify New Risks at Every Level:
Your team should take the lead in tracking and monitoring the next wave of legislative and regulatory risks for your organization so that when the worst-case scenario occurs, you’ll have a domestic and global outlook prepared and be aware of the immense changes that could come.
Begin setting alerts to follow all levels of government for the changes that are going on across your industry, and look at these changes through this pandemic or another worst-case scenario that takes into consideration the factors that could shift your business overnight.
With COVID-19, we’ve seen that the worst can happen and your business can change completely. The teams that prioritize focusing on external risks to your business by monitoring and tracking legislative and regulatory activity on a domestic and global scale will be able to mitigate risk and find new opportunities.
Although preparing for the worst may not equate to immediate revenue generation, it will undoubtedly make it easier to manage inevitable obstacles. Getting out in front of issues will allow organizations to withstand the turbulence that results from times of uncertainty, and by future-proofing your organization, your team can have the best resource to plan effectively for the near-term and beyond.
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