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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Beacon of Light

Given the number of times that Cabinet Ministers have appeared on the media to explain that "we must follow the science", will we enter a new lockdown immediately after Christmas Day?

I can't quite see Boris nudging Her Majesty out of the way at 15:00 on 25th but I doubt that we will get much beyond that, given that we are now locked out of 42 countries (and counting) and the new strain of Covid-19 left London by every available method of transport last week.

To continue my theme around leadership, it's going to be important that you remain upbeat in the face of any new measures introduced to save lives.

There's a protocol they follow in crisis management:

  1. Contextualisation - it's important to remember that we don't have anybody flying over our major cities and dropping bombs, that our democracy isn't being replaced and that the lights are on;

  2. Look at the WPO - worst possible option - and make a plan;

  3. Look at the BPO - best possible option - and make a plan.

I use contextualisation a lot in my day to day life.

When my internet goes down, the dogs wake me up at 03:00 in the morning for a pee, my Achilles flares up or I join a queue for anything - I remind myself that 800 million people wake every morning with nothing to eat and no prospect of eating.

It is always a very good idea to know what you are going to do when the WPO hits.

Assume a complete lockdown from 27th December and your practice is closed again for 3 months:

  1. The Government will step in with financial support measures;

  2. If you are an English NHS dentist, you will able to tell NHSE where to stick their 45% target;

  3. If you are a UDC, you will be busy!

  4. You and your team will have a chance to rest, recuperate and plan for a 2nd return to work - knowing what you know now about what worked and didn't work last time;

  5. You will have time to think and plan - over to Quadrant 2 of The Eisenhower Matrix;

  6. I've no doubt that I'll be back on Facebook Live every lunchtime and webinars in the evenings, with KOLs, experts and practitioners, sharing the solutions (as will others like Dhru and the Tubulites);

  7. If you have plan patients you may well have to suggest a payment holiday this time - be prepared for that;

  8. I suggest you learn from lockdown 1.0 and implement very robust communication systems with both team and patients. The winners were the communicators.

Then you can get ready for a barnstorming return to work and what is likely to be months, if not years, of record sales as we move back into the freedom of a vaccinated population who are looking for fun.

Commentators are already suggesting a repeat of "the roaring 20's" as the population let their hair down and party. That will be nothing but good for your business.

As to the BPO? I'm simply wrong and there is no lockdown - I think you know what to do. Please can I remind you about "pace not race" if the BPO applies.

Today - Tuesday - call your team together and have a crisis management meeting.

Contextualise, WPO, BPO.

This will reassure them that you know what to do whatever happens - and it will intercept the F.E.A.R. (fantasy, expressed as reality) that sent some folks out to clear supermarket shelves yesterday.

Today is day #2 of the "Three Days" I mentioned on Monday - be a leader, be upbeat and become a beacon of light.

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