Pandemic Threats and Opportunities Risk Management Toolbox Talk

Build Back Better

Did you know that many businesses are booming during the pandemic? Many countries are trading relatively well and will be seeking to distribute vaccines in 2021. A new norm will develop in 2021 and there is a good chance to seize new business opportunities. Rebuild your business resilience and grow faster in 2021. Upgrade your business risk management strategy. Set a new risk management plan aligned to your risk tolerance and appetite for risk.

One in seven companies in UK are concerned that they are at risk of collapse in the next three months.

November 2020, Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey by the Office for National Statistics ONS

This risk management toolbox talk introduces the opportunity to network with like-minded business leaders to share risk management problems and solutions to enhance your customers experience. Because your time is valuable, we will use just 30 minutes this time around. If you like the idea of working closer together to help overcome business problems we will run more risk management toolbox talks to assist your business development. This is an introduction to the exploration of the future prosperity of nations, businesses and personal wealth and wellbeing.

In this risk management toolbox talk, we’ll cover:

● Which businesses are benefiting from pandemic
● How do you plan to recover from the economic impact of pandemic
● Tools and techniques to identify and assess key threats and opportunities

Save the date to join us in sharing business intelligence and risk knowledge to begin making plans for better business in 2021

Toolbox Talks Managing Business Risks From Coronavirus Pandemic
Pandemic Business Threats and Opportunities Risk Management Toolbox Talks enter code #PandemicToolbox

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Risk Management Toolbox Rules Culture and Etiquette

During Zoom risk management toolbox talk you may have chance to use Zoom Chat feature via “More” tab at top of your screen during the video conference. Should you wish to speak, or ask a question, use this Zoom feature to attract the host attention. He or she may give you the chance to speak, or raise the point you mentioned in Chat for benefit of all participants, though this is at the discretion of the Zoom risk management toolbox talk host. We ask that you only use the Chat feature to give yourself a chance of speaking, or to ask a question, as this will aid the smooth running of risk management toolbox talk and make it more productive for all participants. Abuse of the Chat feature may risk the barring or ejection from talk by the host at his or her discretion and without refund or liability whatsoever, where relevant. We do encourage participants to get involved, but abuse of the video conferencing process detracts from the quality of the experience by other participants who do comply with risk management toolbox talk etiquette. Your observance of rules will be much appreciated. We want to create an equal and fair platform that produces practical business improvement with less uncertainty for all participants and shared business experience to improve business intelligence and risk knowledge.

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Make sure you hear about upcoming toolbox talks to help you make better business decisions.

Because your time is valuable, we only plan to use a maximum of 30 minutes in each risk management toolbox talk. We will return to these business risk management themes and issues in future risk management toolbox talks.

We alert BusinessRiskTV members to future upcoming risk management toolbox talks via a variety of social media accounts and email.

If you would like further help, support or business enterprise risk management training to help overcome business problems and assist your business development with less uncertainty please get in touch

Outline topics of this risk management toolbox talk

Topics of this risk management toolbox talk may include some of the following. 30 minutes is not long. We will not have time to address all issues fully at this risk management toolbox talk. However, we will return to these topics in other risk management toolbox talks.

UK Pandemic Business Recovery Planning With BusinessRiskTV
Is fear holding your business back?

Every threat creates an opportunity for another business. Every opportunity presents some threats.

What is one business threat within the same industry maybe an opportunity for another business within the same industry. Sometimes peers within other industries can help you find risk management solutions in your industry. Other times working together within the same industry brings more rapid benefits to each participating business. Finding the best business risk management solution for your business really depends on the risk profile of your business. This is a good thing. You should only worry about controlling the controllable’s and enterprise risk management methodology is all about engaging all business stakeholders in the management of controllable risks to improve business performance by managing the effect of uncertainty on a business strategic operational and project objectives .

Coronavirus Pandemic Risk Management
Coronavirus business risk management tips advice and support with BusinessRiskTV

Which businesses are benefiting from pandemic?

Pandemic Business Recovery
Pandemic Business Winners enter code #PandemicToolbox
  • AstraZeneca designed a vaccine for the coronavirus COVID-19 in around a week in early January 2020 before the pandemic was officially called a pandemic! Although its vaccine has not yet been approved yet by any country this is imminent especially as it has already been reviewed by medical peers to be save and effective. Just how much more effective it can be is not yet certain, but 70% effective on average based on two full doses of vaccine. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is also very cheap compared to other vaccines so can easily be used around the globe. The end result for AstraZeneca is sustainable long term business growth long after the worst of the pandemic is over in rich western societies, in a large part due to creation of coronavirus COID-19.
  • Zoom technology uptake during pandemic not only boosted Zoom business valuation. It helped Japan economy weather economic storm due in part to higher exports of laptops as people worked from home.
  • Halfords profits double on soaring bike use. Halfords saw its profits more than double in the six months to the start of October 2020, as demand for cycling equipment and repair services boomed during the pandemic. Halfords has been able to remain open throughout the pandemic as it is classed as an essential retailer.
  • B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher has seen its sales leap during the first lockdown and the second lockdown in England as UK As consumers spent more time in their homes and focused on improving them during pandemic crisis. B&Q sales in the UK and Ireland were up by almost a quarter. Meanwhile, Screwfix servicing tradespeople has found strong sales as the construction industry benefited from strong pent-up demand. Sales also jumped in Kingfisher’s other markets and other brands, including in France, Poland, Spain and Romania. Renewed focus on homes during pandemic is supportive of Kingfisher markets. B&Q is classed as an essential retailer in Britain, exempt from the first nationwide lockdown and current England lockdown. England’s second lockdown has boosted consumer demand not reduce demand.
  • Online electricals retailer AO World has swung to a first-half profit as customers flocked to its platform during the pandemic. The group saw sales surge by 53.2% to £717 million for the six months to September 30 as high street rivals temporarily closed stores during the period. AO company share value has more than quadrupled since the start of 2020.
Retail Risk Management Tips Advice and Support
The opportunities for increasing retail-based business income remain huge for innovative retailers looking to the future not to return to past
  • UK retail recorded 6th consecutive month of growth in October 2020 according to Office for National Statistics ONS. In October online sales were up 5.8% and store sales down 3.3% versus February 2020, pre-pandemic. Clothing sales and fuel sales remained below pre-virus prevalence levels. England entered its second lockdown at beginning November, but retail sales may still jump due to online sales continuing.
  • Wholesaler Brakes Foodservice found demand for scotch eggs increased ten times over as lockdown that ended on 2nd December 2020 in England. Scotch eggs were deemed to be a “substantial meal” served by pubs that allowed them to open as pseudo-restaurant in some parts of England in Tier 2 lockdown restrictions. In areas under Tier 2 restrictions hospitality venues can only stay open if they can function as a restaurant, and may only serve alcohol with a substantial meal.
Growing Your Business In Any Business Environment
Growing Your Business In Any Business Environment
Risks and Opportunities From Pandemic
Inequality Risks
  • Inequality between countries and within country one of biggest drivers of both threats and opportunities. The gaps between the haves and have-nots has widened during pandemic. Most are poorer but children’s education, or lack of it during lockdowns, is good example of the problems of the gap. Poor children with little access to education will present long-term economic growth issues and personal loss of personal wealth and wellbeing. The poor are more likely to remain poor after the pandemic than before it. Countries will be the poorer because of it for decades. There is however a massive opportunity to look differently at what people will do in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Training children and adults in the skills they need to succeed so businesses and a country can succeed needs to change.
  • A global economic rebound is expected in 2021. G20 leaders meeting virtually online in November 2020 identified that the pandemic might further deepen global divisions between the rich and the poor. Especially vulnerable are poor and highly indebted countries, which are “on the precipice of financial ruin and escalating poverty, hunger and untold suffering”, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. World Bank President David Malpass warned the G20 that failing to provide more permanent debt relief to some countries now could lead to increased poverty and a repeat of the disorderly defaults seen in the 1980s.
  • In a report from the International Monetary Fund IMF it says the global economy is recovering from the depths of the coronavirus crisis, but there are signs of slowing momentum in countries with resurging infection rates. There is an uneven nature to the global economic recovery and the IMF warned the pandemic crisis would likely leave deep, unequal scars. The IMF forecast in October 2020 forecast a 2020 global economic contraction of 4.4%, with the global economy expected to rebound to growth of 5.2% in 2021. Emerging markets are forecast to suffer greater economic impact from pandemic according to IMF. While global fiscal spending of nearly $12 trillion and monetary policies had averted even worse pandemic crisis outcomes, poverty and inequality were increasing. The IMF report warned that vaccines need to be distributed worldwide for global economic recovery. No global economic recovery could be sustained unless the pandemic was defeated everywhere. Everyone has the virus until no one has the virus.
  • Societal risks due to inequality have risen that threaten the very fabric of societies and could seed political upheaval within countries and between countries. The left behind may well not put up with being left behind.

How do you plan to recover from the economic impact of pandemic?

Pandemic Business Recovery Tips Advice and Support
How do you plan to recover from the economic impact of pandemic enter code #PandemicToolbox
  • During pandemic EasyJet airlines made first ever loss, well over a billion pounds. However, EasyJet bookings jumped by 50% on the day there was positive news about a coronavirus vaccine. 2021 is going to present many businesses with the opportunity to soak up unspent savings stockpiled by money who managed to keep their jobs during and post-pandemic.
  • Ethical socially responsible well run businesses can be a clear guide to a business worth investing in in future. Banks and investors are starting to withdraw their support for businesses with a reputation of damaging the environment even if they have changed to embrace renewable energy production for example. The quality companies investors are increasingly turning to protect the environment and do not have hidden public relation disasters hiding in their supply chain.
  • A Bear Market for investors and Mergers & Acquisition M&A activity is an amazing buying opportunity to grow faster. However, “never try to catch a falling knife”! Well managed businesses with proven good governance, risk management and compliance GRC will always be more resilient, but in future they should also be more successful than ones run by short-term profit hunting cowboys.
  • On 19th November 2020 the UK Prime Minister said that the international situation is now more perilous than any time since Cold War. With increasing international tension with China due to its actions in the Pacific and biological and cyber attacks from Russia, there are greater risks now than for decades. However unwarranted escalation of military action is the greater threat compared to deliberate action to attack another nation state. Much of the UK’s multi-billion pound increase in defence spending promised over next four years is to be spent on cyber warfare and space warfare. It is believed that China has developed anti-satellite weapons. Much of the 4th Industrial Revolutions will be built, or fail, based on satellite technology.
  • The slow death of the UK High Street has sped up due to the pandemic. Many of the vacant or almost vacant offices and retail stores need to be transformed as part of a rejuvenation of High Street experience. Fewer people should work in offices at any one time post pandemic. Going into a shop to buy something and then leave the shop in the main needs to change. Both the offices and the retail shops need to transform into lifestyle experiences. This should include turning them into partial dwellings – in other words homes. Instead of just buying things they should be Click & Click hubs for all businesses to make use of, which should include facilities to enable consumers to return goods or have packages picked up more conveniently. Lastly they should include more lifestyle enhancement services. As a result of the pandemic driving the need to change the High Street there will be massive opportunities for new businesses and people looking for a home to repopulate our cities. Workers who once worked in the city should have more access to home working which will drive business development in rural and coastal areas which have often been forgotten and left behind by politicians and large corporate retailers. Turning workplaces into homes combined with new retail experiences will spread prosperity wider, reduce environmental pollution and save neglected communities.
  • A Norwegian start-up, according to the World Economic Forum WEF wants to build houses out of 100% recycled plastic. The drive to save the planet will open opportunities to be very innovative, to create new businesses which have never existed before and now there will be oodles of money to invest in these new ideas as whole continents of central banks support the increased money supply in the global economy to help fund innovative entrepreneurs.
  • New technology, gadgets and equipment, will make life easier, boost productivity and drive economic growth not threaten human existence. The train overtook the canals. We as a human race have always adapted technological developments to improve our lives and will do so again during the 4th Industrial Revolution.
UK Economy Business Report November 2020
Record decline in UK consumer borrowing November Report

The UK Office for Budget Responsibility OBR is forecasting the UK economy will grow by an electrifyingly fast pace in 2021 and 2022 of around 6 percent. This is a rate of growth that was only reachable by the likes of China and India pre-pandemic. Is your business ready for the incredibly fast economic growth rates over the next couple of years post-pandemic? When the money stashed in banks is released into the economy and UK consumers start borrowing to spend again, the businesses that are ready to capitalise on this business expansion will rocket their business activity levels. Managing the threats and opportunities from upside risk from pandemic are almost as important for a business as managing downside risk.

  • Have you accessed all the cheap or even free money currently sloshing about the marketplace to invest in the future of your business?
  • Is your business in the right place bricks-and-mortar-wise and online to put your business in front of more customers than pre-pandemic?
  • Do you have the right plant and equipment to maximise the efficiency of your business?
  • Do you have the right amount of staff, with the right skills, to seize the impending business opportunities from closed competitors and innovation?
Lack of and too much innovation
Innovation Risk

Understanding your current enterprise-wide risk profile and risk management culture is the starting point to recovering from the pandemic. Ensure you have solid enterprise risk management ERM framework and ERM process to monitor progress of your risk management plan to ensure your risk management strategy is working optimally, or at least well. Implement and embed ERM philosophy and risk-based approach to your business decision-making, aligned to your risk management culture to achieve strategic objectives with sound operational risk management structure. Business protection and business development projects should be chosen, implemented and monitored with same ERM risk-based approach to project management. By adopting ERM risk-based approach you will support the engagement of all your business stakeholders on your risk management strategy and business plan. Everybody will be on the same bus, going in the same direction, with the most efficient use of available assets, with a common purpose, reaping equitable risk rewards.

Much innovation is born out of necessity – for example during times of war. The COVID period maybe our time of war. It as certainly led to the worst economic period for several hundred years including from two world wars. What we can learn from Abandoned Engineering on Yesterday Channel is that our forefathers have invested incredible amounts of money and energy in ideas that failed for various different reasons. If you want your business to be resilience regardless of the economic environment you need to adopt the right risk management strategy to give your business the best chance of surviving in all economic weather. We may think we have been unlucky. However, all previous generations have had their challenges. Our challenge is to be innovative, creative and resilient no matter what is thrown at us.

Tools and techniques to identify and assess key threats and opportunities

Pandemic Business Recovery Tips Advice and Support From BusinessRiskTV
Identify and assess key threats and opportunities as we approach the beginning of the end of the pandemic enter code #PandemicToolbox
  • Do you truly understand the risks facing your business? How strong is your business risk management framework and risk management process? How resilient is your business right now? How well do you manage risks proactively and reactively? How big a loss could your business take? What opportunities does your business have for more rapid business development and growth? How will you maximise the benefits from new business development plans?
  • Engaging your workforce more in enterprise risk management planning and increase employee satisfaction, loyalty and retention. As a result employees will be more productive and boost business performance.
  • Does encryption from tech companies make businesses and companies better protect whilst society is in more danger? Criminal adoption of technology makes crime more difficult to detect and stop. Criminal gangs and nation states pose perhaps the greatest threat to national and business security.
  • Britain and the European Union are said to be on the verge of clinching a post-Brexit trade deal that would regulate their relationship after the transition period ends at end of 2020. 
  • Customers in Milton Keynes and Northampton are receiving grocery online orders via autonomous street robots. The robots can travel up to 5km to deliver on their own. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for the service had tripled in CO-OP Milton Keynes in recent months. The Co-op said it planned to use up to 300 robots by the end of 2021. The robots have already completed over 500000 commercial autonomous deliveries in local neighbourhoods and university campuses across five countries. Drone deliveries by air will also become the new norm in near future in some parts of the world. How they integrate with rest of the world may restrict wider use in large cities for example, but in rural areas having groceries delivered by drone will become very common. If your business does not adopt such technology you could be left behind. If your business does adopt technology how do you protect your business from loss or damage caused by new technology, not all of which is insurable?
  • Ambitious plans to roll out gigabit-speed broadband to every home in Britain by 2025 have been rolled back in UK Chancellor spending review. Now the aim is to have a “minimum of 85% coverage” by that date. To recover from the economic cost of the pandemic all countries need to embrace broadband technologies and roll them out as fast as possible for business leaders to innovate and deploy their innovations in a way that creates more jobs and more ways to pay-off debt mountain. The changing demographics in many countries means that there will very quickly be fewer working taxpayers to pay off debt mountain and cover cost of people in retirement who may need increased care or treatment services. What is your business doing to protect and grow in future and how will tech developments or lack of them change your business decisions including where you are based and how you reach your customers. The lack of tech and the introduction of new tech brings both opportunities and threats.
Environmental Risk Management
Environmental Threats and Opportunities

Too often the business plan is the wrong plan for available business resources and assets. You can’t play football like top Premiership team if you only have the resources of a pub team. Truly understanding what you have and where you are now, and decide what threats to your business assets are acceptable to successfully achieve business development opportunities. How strong are your threat controls? What opportunities could arise from setbacks that you could capitalise on? How strong is your business development capability? What threats could come from business development success do you need to mitigate? What will inhibit your threat controls and how do you mitigate likelihood of inhibitors occurring and/or impact on your business objectives? What will you do to maximise the likelihood of business development plan being successful and how will mitigate or overcome setbacks as well as enhance benefits to boost returns to the maximum, increasing your return on investment of time and money?


The 4th Industrial Revolution has only just begun. It has been turbocharged by the pandemic. We are entering a new era. At the beginning of 2020 we were looking over the precipice to economic oblivion. The new era includes further fatal challenges some business will nor survive, but incredible opportunities for rapid sustainable growth. Genius hard working human beings have developed highly effective vaccines and more will follow. It reminds us just how innovative mankind can be. We have been coasting a little too much since the last financial crisis in 2008. Yes some people have stepped up like Elon Musk and Tesla. A few have been inventive and brought their inventions to market, but the majority of business leaders in recent decades have been like sheep, following what has gone before. The pandemic has taught us not not only the few can be successfully innovative. Every single business and every single business leader can be successfully inventive in very practical productive beneficial ways. Fro the pub landlord and brewers starting home deliveries of food and drink, to pharmaceutical companies working better collaboratively, to politicians finally getting it what people want from them. We should hav eall now realised just how creative, innovative and productive we can be. We have realised how to sweat business assets in a more ethical, socially responsible, risk taking not risk avoidance ways. At the beginning of the end of this pandemic we can be better in business because of the experiences of the pandemic. A new better, much improved Business World 4.0 is within grasp. However, we need to positively grab the opportunities for business growth form the pandemic experience before the moment of opportunity for exponential business change for the better passes.

Who should attend Pandemic Threats and Opportunities Risk Management Toolbox Talk

  • Senior managers and executives
  • Enterprise risk owners and those charged with the responsibility of monitoring or supervising risk management measures
  • Risk management professionals

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Pandemic Business Risks Threats and Opportunities Risk Management Toolbox Talk