Responding to the Covid-19 Crisis: Lessons in Adapting

08 April 2020
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Senior Principal and Chairman of the Board, Lee Slade, shares lessons learned concerning the Covid-19 Crisis with Guided Insights readers.


The creation of a “new normal” is quickly becoming a household phrase. Walter P Moore’s Senior Principal and Chairman of the Board, Lee Slade, reflects on lessons learned so far amid the COVID-19 crisis and shares how the firm has responded with fast learning, decisive action, and targeted communications.

“ ‘Alarm bells first went off back on February 2 when our senior leadership team got an email from an employee in our LA office who expressed concern about two employees returning from a trip to China. Though barely a blip in the U.S., the Coronavirus was starting to make headlines in China. We responded by asking those two employees to self-quarantine for 14 days and issued an advisory to our 50+ managing directors (MDs) to be aware of this threat and alert us if they encountered other situations.’

‘Fast-forward to March 3, when our CEO and 21 senior principals conducted a scenario planning exercise related to the threat, considering the possible impacts on our business. On March 6, we issued a travel advisory, restricting all international travel, and restricting domestic travel to ‘essential’ travel, which we defined as travel for activities that are essential to our business purpose and could not be conducted virtually or delayed. That same day, we decided to convert our two-day stockholders meeting scheduled for April 3 north of Houston, to a virtual session.’

‘Three days later, we began regular meetings of a newly-formed COVID-19 task force to mobilize and organize our response and communications. This six-member taskforce included our CEO, CAO, CIO, head of HR, another senior principal with strong connections within our client and Texas governmental communities, and me. We knew we had to move fast, inventing processes as we went, constantly adjusting and adapting as we moved forward. And despite how quickly we had to make decisions and keep moving, we also understood the importance of building in mechanisms to capture what we were learning to better position ourselves the next time we face unexpected, rapid change. Here are just a few lessons learned to date, with many more to come.’”

Slade expanded on lessons learned and shared tips with Guided Insights readers.

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