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THE 5 Ps – Pandemic-Pandemonium – Panic – Preparation – Progress

COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for some time. What it brought with it were 3 P’s – namely, Pandemic, Pandemonium and Panic. Survival will be of those who consciously add 2 more P’s to it – that is Preparation and Progress.

Many years ago, Major John Boyd, revolutionised military as well as corporate thinking with his concept of the OODA Loop.

Without going into too many details, let us see where we stand in terms of the OODA Loop.

  • Observe: Well, we have been observing for over six months now.

  • Orient: This is where we are probably dilly dallying a bit. We need to orient ourselves to the new reality ASAP – that is as of yesterday .

  • Decide: Again, our orientation determines our decision – hence the current flip – flop approach that is prevailing.

  • Act: Till now, all acts or actions have been knee jerk.

When we apply the OODA loop, albeit with a few riders, maybe we need answers to the following questions:

Observe: We have observed the virus for over six months. Can we lay down a protocol, that if followed 100 percent, it will protect an individual 100 percent? If not, what is the acceptable level of risk – 90% or 85%? After all, there are millions of people who are going about their daily lives, travelling, moving in various forms of transport and by virtue of their discipline and dedication they are keeping themselves free from disease.

There are millions of people who travel, meet others, use public space, yet remain free from infection – we need to OBSERVE their methodologies too!

Orient: There are may who have oriented themselves to the new reality – and there are many who have not. We need to systematically address the mindsets of those who have not oriented themselves to the new normal. This will have the dual effect of reducing the spread of the disease as also getting more and more people into the workforce.

Decide: This is where we usually find resistance. We make plans, we design workflows, etc – however, when it is time for implementation, we backtrack, citing one or the other reason. To progress, we need to decide, quickly.

Act: Decisions must be implemented rapidly. Why? Well, for many reasons:

  • Many factors are changing – including the virus. To stay ahead, we need to act and rapidly re-assess the complete loop, faster and faster.

  • Workplaces need to get working. The human tragedy of no work is far greater than because of the virus.


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