23/03/2020

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to have an impact across the globe, the sheer amount of information about the virus – combined with all of the uncertainty and questions it poses - can feel overwhelming. We’ve pulled together some of the helpful content we’ve come across over the last week to help you navigate this uncertain time.

Cranfield University faculty comment on issues relating to the coronavirus outbreak

Professor Emma Parry, Professor of Human Resource Management, discusses the potential impact of enforced remote-working on employee wellbeing, highlighting the importance of maintaining communication, creating a sense of community and acknowledging the possibility of a negative impact on work-life balance. Professor Parry has also shared four key considerations when it comes to maintaining productivity when your team are forced to work at home.

Professor Phil Hart, Director of Energy and Power, provides reassurance on the capability of the grid to continue to function as usual, despite the increase in people working remotely/being at home.

Dr Duncan Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Cyberspace Operations, discusses the potential increase in cyber security breaches as a result of remote working, and provides tips for businesses and employees.

Professor Richard Wilding, Professor of Supply Chain Strategy, warns of the dangers of substituting products in short supply such as toilet paper and face masks. Professor Wilding has also shared insights into the impact of the outbreak on global supply chains and what we can learn from it – including the need for greater automation.

Professor Malcolm McDonald, Emeritus Professor at Cranfield School of Management, shares insights into marketing in the midst of the Covid-19 driven recession – discussing the need for businesses to identify their core market of primary customers and focus on pleasing them, rather than everyone, in order to preserve a resilient customer base.

Professor Leon Williams, Head of Cranfield Centre for Competitive Creative Design, is working with researchers at Georgia Tech University in the USA on the development of a make-shift globally scalable ventilator based on the bag-valve-mask. Read more on how universities are working to develop solutions for the shortage of PPE and medical devices required to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Professor David Denyer, Professor of Leadership and Organisational Change at Cranfield School of Management, discusses how to take a strategic approach to building and strengthening organisational resilience.

Rethinking the economy during times of crises. Researcher Tobias Widmer discusses the supply chain vulnerabilities highlighted by the coronavirus and suggests that moving towards a more circular economy could help to improve sustainability and reduce risk. Read more.

Professor Richard Wilding and Professor Emel Aktas discuss the potential for vast amounts of food waste that could occur as a consequence of consumer stockpiling. 

Will COVID-19 represent a shock to the system that changes our ways of working, long-term? Professor Emma Parry discusses what COVID-19 might mean for the future of work.

Informative webinars 

Cranfield Business Growth are hosting a series of free online workshops for owner-managers of SMEs to help them deal with the short and medium-term actions required to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The workshops will provide the opportunity to hear from business counsellors and engage with other business owners to share advice and past experiences. Find out more and register here.

On 2 April, following the Breakfast Speaker Series event in February, Professor Joe Nellis will be hosting a webinar on the topic 'The world beyond the horizon', discussing globalisation, interdependence between nations and the impact of some of the most significant trends. Register free here.

Dr Toby Thompson and Professor Chris Kemp will be hosting a free webinar on 3 April for those working in events, festivals and other crowded places, In the webinar, they will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on workstreams and programmes with key personnel at major venues and festivals. Register free here.

Sharing Cranfield alumni expertise

Earlier this week, we shared posts across our social media channels calling for our alumni community to join together and make connections to share their wide-ranging knowledge and expertise to help each other navigate the challenges and uncertainty that the global coronavirus pandemic has presented us with. We’ve already had some of our alumni joining the conversation, particularly on our LinkedIn groups, offering up their expertise so do head over to our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages (Cranfield University Official Alumni Network and Cranfield School of Management Official Alumni Network) to share your experiences and connect with fellow alumni who may be able to offer you guidance.

Colin Pinks (MBA 2003) has been in touch to let us know that he is happy to offer up his time and experience to help out charities, small businesses and essential support services over the coming weeks should they need guidance on Managing Projects, Resilience or Collaborative Working. Colin is happy to be contacted directly either on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/colinpinks/) or by email: colin.pinks@gmail.com

Got something to share, a question to ask or just want to offer some solidarity to your classmates? Use the hashtags #CranfieldAlumniConnected and #CranfieldCommunity to keep the conversation going.

Other helpful content

How to make the most out of working from home
. In this article published by CASE Europe, columnist Jason Aten shares top tips for being productive when you’re working remotely.

Finding opportunity in change. Adapting to change can be hard, but it also presents an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. In this podcast, Manoush Zomorodi explores the power of reinvention.

Cutting through the noise. Overwhelmed by all the information about the COVID-19 infection? Infectious disease expert Adam Kucharski answers five key questions about the novel coronavirus in this TED Talk.

TED Connects: Community and Hope. From the 23 March, TED will be hosting a live conversation series each day at 12pm ET on their Facebook page. Topics include what we can learn from China’s response to the coronavirus and how to create meaningful connections while apart.

The daily update by Simple Politics. The need to stay informed versus the need to take a break from the constant barrage of news, social media posts and information during a time of crisis can be overwhelming. For UK-based readers, Simple Politics have started posting a daily update on their Instagram page summarising the key points of the Prime Minister’s daily briefing.

Tips for managing a remote workforce. With a sudden shift to more people working from home, managers face a new set of challenges in supporting and staying connected with a newly remote workforce. In this LinkedIn article, Darren Murph and Brendan Browne from Gitlab (a company with the world’s largest all-remote workforce) share tips on transitioning to a temporary remote workforce.

Recruiting? How to successfully use video interviews to find your next hire.
In order to adjust to social distancing measures, transitioning from in-person interviews to video interviews may be necessary. Find out some top tips for adjusting your interview technique and making the most of the technology available.