Here goes…

  1. Stabilise – know where you are and will be financially. Even if it’s not good, it’s better to know factually than dread a vaguely unknown demon.
  2. Think of others – colleagues, partners, associates, collaborators, suppliers. Thoughtfulness will be returned, and the perspective of thinking about others might even help you feel more positive yourself.
  3. Be kind to yourself – however much you’re used to solving problems by working harder, you’re not wonderwoman or superman. This stuff takes its toll – so do something nice every day.
  4. Sort out your digital connectivity – so you can work, socialise, study or relax at a distance, in whatever combination is available and appealing to you.
  5. Spot opportunities – no, not profiteering or ambulance chasing, but there’s going to be a lot to do to recover from this and you and your organisation’s unique skills and assets can carve yourselves a role in that.
  6. Scenario planning – now of all times, no one knows. So don’t have a single strategy, plan or budget. Have multiple, covering the different scenarios for the world, UK, your organisation and you.
  7. Build capability and intellectual capital – use what for many will be a strange pause to do all that organisational and skills development, processes and systems sorting, capturing of knowledge – that you never get around to.
  8. Be radical – in what opportunities and big shifts (‘pivots’) in response that you consider important. There’s no such thing as a stupid idea. The normal rules don’t apply (they actually never did).
  9. Envision positive outcomes – how could the world be better as a result of this? If you haven’t tried out Brian Mayne’s visual goal mapping, give it a go.
  10. Abandon your diet.

Patrick Towell is the Innovation Director of The Audience Agency. He has recently rediscovered the joys of guilt-free pasta and chocolate. Very mindful of the seriousness of this situation for many, ringing in his ears each day is the advice of his late mother…

"Never, even in dark times, let your sense of humour entirely abandon you."