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 and the team from the Cranfield Centre for Competitive Creative Design have worked with researchers at Georgia Tech to create new low-cost ventilators for COVID-19 patients. 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.

Cranfield researchers including Dr Zhugen Yang, Lecturer in Sensor Technology, have developed a new wastewater test that could provide early warning of COVID-19 by picking up if the virus is present in the sewer system.

Roger Crook, Lecturer in Defence Acquisition and Logistics at Cranfield Defence and Security, discusses the potential role of the military in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

What people need from their leaders right now: Visiting Lecturer at Cranfield School of Management Sophie Bennett discusses the importance of being a ‘listening leader’ in these unprecedented times – offering connection, support, honesty and reason .

Dr Anicée Van Engeland, Senior Lecturer in International Security at Cranfield University, comments on Iran’s response to COVID-19 and discusses how we can protect refugees, asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants by building international resilience.

COVID-19 and climate change: Professor Neil Harris comments on the impact of the outbreak on carbon emissions and discusses whether the crisis may provide an opportunity to advance greener ways of living and working.

Returning to a new normal: Dr Ruth Massie discusses the questions leaders need to ask themselves to articulate their organisation's new normal, start thinking forward and succesfully plan ahead.

Dr Thomas Budd, Lecturer in Air Transport Planning and Management at Cranfield, discusses how technology could help the aviation industry to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Dr Duncan Hodges, Senior Lecturer in Cyberspace Operations, comments on the potential social and technical issues associated with the UK Government’s new COVID-19 contract-tracing app.

Cranfield University's 3D printing labs have been utilised to create PPE for Milton Keynes University Hospital.

A new report authored by Pool Re and Cranfield's Professor Andrew Silke examines the potential short and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on terrorism.

Dr Stephanie Hussels discusses how vital entrepreneurship will be to kickstart the post-coronavirus economic recovery in this article published by Business Because.

In a letter published in the Financial Times, leading academics from Cranfield have called for a new approach to resilience in the UK - stating that, alongside the lessons learnt from the response to COVID-19, there are wider lessons to be learnt about how the UK identifies and responds to risks.

Informative webinars and podcasts from Cranfield  

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, as part of the newly launched Cranfield Business Growth Response Programme. 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. Previous webinars are also available to watch on demand. 

To kick-off the “Stabilise” phase of the BGP Response Programme, the team are hosting an 'Un-conference' on 27 May - a participant-led online event which will feature two sessions based on participants' interests, alongside opportunities to network and take part in smaller 'break-out' sessions. Find out more and submit your suggestions for topics here.

Facing the new reality: In this podcast Ido van der Heijden, Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management, shares insights into managing fear and how the lock down can be used as an opportunity to reflect, develop ourselves and strengthen our networks. Listen now.

How to keep key customers close during uncertain times. As part of the Cranfield School of Management 'Ask the Expert' podcast series, Dr Sue Holt shares her thoughts on navigating customer relationships in an ever-changing landscape. Listen here.

Cranfield alumni podcasts

Leadership on-the-go podcast series
Now, more than ever, strong leadership is key. Our Leadership on-the-go podcast provides first-hand, in-the-moment leadership insights from Cranfield alumni across a variety of fields and industries – from aerospace, to management, to manufacturing. Download the latest episode with MSc Astronautics and Space Engineering alumna, Daphne de Jong – Technical Program Manager at Waymo and Board Director at UN Women – to hear how her experience of climbing Mount Everest has shaped her leadership style.

Alumni Matters miniseries
In a new three-episode miniseries, Patrick Dunne - MBA alumnus and author of Boards - discusses the impact of the coronavirus on boards, their behaviour, people and corporate sustainability. Download all three episodes here.

Aviation alumni portraits podcast
In this podcast series, Cranfield alumnus Maxime Debry (MSc Air Transport Management 2018) speaks openly to fellow Cranfield alumni about their career paths, decisions and ambitions. As well as inspiring and informing you about potential career paths, you'll also get practical advice on how you can improve your career prospects in the aviation industry. Maxime and his guests also discuss the future shape of the aviation industry following the Coronavirus crisis. Download the first episode with Julian Carr (MSc Air Transport 2002), Aviation Director at Manchester Airport.

Online alumni meet-ups

Cranfield alumni volunteers from our global community have started organising online meet-ups and virtual panel discussions to help each other to stay connected and informed:

29 May - Cranfield alumni in India webinar: Digital Transformation
Organised by alumni volunteers in India, all alumni are invited to attend an online discussion led by MBA alumnus Sanjay Kapoor on the acceleration of the digital transformation due to COVID-19. More information.

Keep an eye out on the events page for the next virtual meet-up in your area.

Cranfield alumni expertise 

In March, 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, and offering up their expertise. Please do join our Cranfield University Official Alumni Network LinkedIn group to access and offer alumni-to-alumni support. You can also head over to our Facebook, Twitter and School of Management LinkedIn group to share your experiences, connect with fellow alumni and hear the latest news from around the University. 

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

Bob Bradley (MBA 1989), Managing Director at MD2MD SME Leadership Development, has offered support on best practices for leading a business through a crisis. Join the LinkedIn group to access Bob’s post and start a conversation.

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.

Managing disruption: Alaina Love shares five practices for managers and leadership teams to put in place to lead their teams through a period of crisis.

How technology can empower remote-working teams. 
Technology is a saving grace in these complex times - Genna Ash shares six ways technology can be used to empower your team when they're working remotely.

Digiwork: COVID-19 may prove to be a major tipping point for the digital transformation of the workplace. Dr Maria Mexi discusses the digital-work future and the steps we can to take to ensure a fair future of work.

How to build resilience and find comfort and joy during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the TED Connects series, psychologist Susan David responds to listeners' questions and shares wisdom on ways to keep focused during the crisis, how to talk to children about their emotions and how to help those working on the front lines. Watch the TED talk here.

Four ways to stay creative during ambiguous times. Natalie Nixon discusses the importance of demonstrating creative competency during times of uncertainty and shares four ways to use creativity as a navigational tool.

WorkLife with Adam Grant: How science can fix remote work
With the pandemic making remote working an overnight reality for many of us, Adam Grant discusses what science says about how to keep your teams cohesive, fight screenout, and build resilience by mentally traveling in time.