As of this writing in late April 2020, many organizations (businesses, nonprofits, schools, churches) are struggling mightily to survive the blizzard of viral spread and rolling shutdowns. Many will not survive the arduous winter as social and economic life re-emerges in fits and starts, lacking the assets or the positioning to advance their mission under new constraints.

In Leading Beyond the Blizzard we estimated that 10% of organizations are relatively unaffected by COVID-19, 10% are responding to unprecedented opportunity, and the remaining 80% “find themselves with a strategic and operating playbook — primarily in terms of product offering, business model, and team structure — that simply does not translate in the likely conditions of the blizzard, the winter, and the little ice age.”

For leaders of organizations in any of these categories, your focus now should be to survive the winter by building for the ice age. This means to do all that is necessary to sustain your core mission in times of scarcity; to prototype everything toward a different future; and in all things to compound the trust and reputation of the organization.