How In-house Leaders Can Better Prepare for the Next Crisis

How In-house Leaders Can Use Technology to Better Prepare for the Next Crisis

Members of my team recently asked me a question that many in-house lawyers have likely been hearing in one form or another: “The COVID-19 crisis is hurting the small business community. What are we, as a company, going to do about it? Any crisis preparation and recovery” 

During a crisis, corporate counsel deal with many unknowns that make answering a question like this a tricky business. We often need to make decisions long before all the facts are revealed. There are no rulebooks; no straight lines that lead to all the right answers.

In-house leaders can use technology to better prepare for the next crisis preparation and recovery by creating a plan and utilizing technology to help with communication, document management, and data recovery. Having a plan in place will help ensure that the company is able to respond quickly and effectively to a crisis. Technology can also be used to help keep track of key documents and data so that they can be accessed quickly if needed. Having a solid plan and using technology to support it can help companies minimize the damage caused by a crisis and improve their chances of recovering quickly.

businessman during the financial crisis

We can, however, take advantage of crisis preparation and recovery technology to ensure we are better informed during a crisis and better able to assist employees and clients. The use of technology tools can help you take decisive action now while also building continuity and stability into your business systems. This way, you are prepared to deftly manage any future crisis too. 

Use technology to provide the stability employees crave

Saying the coronavirus pandemic accelerated remote work arrangements is an understatement. Rather, it forced the change like a mother bird pushing a baby out of the nest. During the pandemic, many employees feel overwhelmed, distracted, and unable to focus even if the switch to remote work is not new.  

financial crisis and an in-house leader

Technology and stability for employees

At a time when employees crave order and consistency, technology provides dependable direction. Project management tools support remote coordination of tasks and responsibilities. Remote workers stay more engaged with a system that tracks and records milestone events. Automatic notifications inspire fast action and move projects along reliably. Everyone stays in the loop through informative dashboards.  

In many ways, the push to rely more on crisis preparation and recovery technology now is helping teams build trust in digital frameworks that provide a strong sense of structure, inclusion, and consistency — the very bedrock of the longed-for stability employees need in the virtual workplace.

The best technology for working remotely in crisis situations

Thanks to technology, it’s now possible for businesses to continue their operations during a crisis situation. These digital solutions allow teams to access, collaborate on, and analyze important documents from the comfort of their home.

In today’s digital age, many companies are utilizing technology to allow employees to work remotely in times of crisis. This allows the company to continue operations and avoid any potential financial losses. There are a number of different technologies that can be used for this purpose, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Some forms of crisis management technology include:

Cloud-based storage

Cloud-based storage allows every member of your team to access the documents in your repository. Even with work-from-home mandates, your team can continue their daily operations with the ability to view and edit contracts remotely.

Real-time communication

Remote work can significantly hinder communication between your team. Working at an office makes it easy for people to share ideas and collaborate on projects. However, real-time communication tools make it easier to communicate with your colleagues from the comfort of your home. This software allows employees to hold conference calls with other employees or clients who are located elsewhere. It is a good option for companies that need to keep communication open during a crisis.

E-signatures

For a contract to be executed, it must be signed by all the required stakeholders, which can be difficult when you can’t meet in person. Thankfully, e-signatures allow you to sign agreements online to continue making business agreements when working remotely.

Data security

Security is a top concern for companies that are new to the digital world. However, many business solutions offer advanced data security measures such as encryption and user authorization to ensure all of your sensitive information is protected. That way, if your company has to move its operations online again, you can be confident your data is safe.

Insight and analytics

Remote work tends to lower a team’s overall productivity. This means that it’s important for managers to carefully track their performance and have oversight into the company’s process when working virtually.

Spread your influence with automation

In-house leaders can use technology platforms as a vehicle to spread their influence throughout an organization. Through enterprise-wide automation, you dictate which actions are the inevitable result of a confluence of factors.  

recovery from the crisis together

Contract Automation with Contract Management Software

For example, Contract Management Software (CMS) automates the creation of contracts based on the information it receives from requesters. But you create the language options the software pulls from during automation. You develop the decision-trees the software uses to suggest alternative language. The result is the uniform inclusion of pre-approved language and clauses in contracts. 

In-house leaders also expand their influence by developing training programs and instruction manuals that help others apply technology in dealing with everyday business problems. These efforts help ensure seamless and long-lasting consistency — especially during the flux of a crisis.

The role of technology in crisis management

In today’s world, technology is ever-present and plays an important role in our lives. This is especially true in times of crisis. Corporate crisis preparation and recovery have come to rely heavily on technology in order to mitigate the damage done by a crisis and speed up the recovery process. There are many ways in which technology can help during a corporate crisis.

Businesses can’t run without contracts. However, creating, managing, and executing agreements efficiently when working remotely is practically impossible without the help of technology such as CLM software.

Crisis management technology helps your business during emergency situations by:

Improving employee stability

For your team to remain productive during a crisis situation, you must ensure that they have a predictable schedule and tasks. When your company prioritizes the well-being and comfort of its employees, you can expect a higher retention rate as people value an employer that cares about their needs. This can be achieved through the use of CMS, which allows your team to continue their normal duties from home.

Fostering collaboration

Collaboration is an essential component of successful business deals. However, remote work limits collaboration. The real-time collaboration tools offered by contract management platforms allow everyone on your team to view, edit, and comment on documents no matter where they are located. Using CMS, you can ensure that your business is entering beneficial agreements where everyone’s voice is heard during the process.

Maintaining productivity

For your team to remain productive during a crisis situation, you must ensure that they have access to tools that allow them to complete their duties from home. With CMS, each team member has the resources they need to create, manage, and execute contracts, limiting the effects that a crisis situation has on your company’s productivity level. Your investment in a contract management platform will be returned in the form of increased profit and optimized remote operation.

Eliminate chaos with a uniform source of truth

Recently, GCs have needed to collaborate with outside counsel and internal executives to handle employment issues and determine what new legislation, such as the US Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, means for their business systems.

It is much easier to assess the effects of recent events and legislation when documents are centralized and searchable within a single cloud-based platform. Everyone accesses the same information, which is stored in one location within tools such as client, employee, or contract management platforms. Data is more readily accessible, accurate, and up-to-date than that obtained from manually maintained spreadsheets and long and twisted email chains.  

The resulting uniformity reduces chaos in a crisis. Technology platforms offer a single source of truth that helps companies clarify priorities in navigating the ever-changing business and legal landscapes.  

Understand business relationships

If you want to craft offers of assistance that are truly useful and meaningful to your business, you must understand the full nature of your contracts. Contract analytics help legal leaders navigate business relationships while centralizing the data and details lawyers need to empower business leaders to help themselves.  

woman points to business relationship

Your team can quickly answer questions like, “Can we create an offer that aids clients whose contracts renew in the next 30-90 days?” Or “Are there enough renewals to make it a worthwhile effort?” In other words, you can empower your team to have a much more functional and transparent relationship with contracts.  

CMS and document management platforms also improve how you interact and work directly with others online. Simultaneously collaborating on the same document and communicating in real-time enhances mutual understanding and promotes the free flow of information and ideas.  

Crisis preparation and recovery technology as a guiding tool

Technology’s usefulness has never been more apparent. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed companies to rely on technology as a source of stability in the virtual workplace. Lawyers are finding they can trust automation to facilitate predictability, ensure reliability, and enforce uniformity in decision-making.  

crisis preparation for your business

Ultimately, using technology now results in faster, easier access to more data-driven insights later, which helps us deal with uncertainty and chaos during a crisis and guides us in making decisions that are beneficial for our companies, our employees, and our clients for years to come. 

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