Using a crisis nerve center to help reopen the economy

Using a crisis nerve center to help reopen the economy

This article was published by Mckinsey & Company as part of their Coronavirus series and it looks at how we should be managing the next phase of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the skills needed to lead and contribute to the effort.

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, some national and subnational—provincial, state, and municipal—governments around the world created crisis nerve centers to address the urgent issues the crisis had spawned. Now attention has turned to what comes next: how should government leaders organize to guide the reopening and recovery of their nations, regions, and municipalities?

Crisis nerve centers are agile bodies that bring together crucial skills and capabilities across traditional organizational lines to provide senior government leaders with the speed, structure, and organizational clarity required to mount an effective response to the crisis. The first versions of nerve centers or other crisis task forces focused largely on immediate responses, such as dealing with hospital supplies, staffing, and other capacity issues, developing economic intervention packages, and taking steps to support vulnerable populations.

Whether or not a government has previously set up a crisis center, it must now meet the challenge of developing, executing, and rapidly adjusting strategies to reopen the economy. And it must be done in an environment of great uncertainty that is likely to extend for many months. This article lays out best practices for a governmental reopening nerve center, including who might lead it, who should be part of it, and the skills it will require.


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