black swan; covid 19 is a black swan event which presents challenges to business leaders


By Eric Michrowski (President & CEO | Propulo) ​

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly becoming a topic of urgent executive dialogue across North America to ensure an appropriate and measured response that protects the wellbeing of team members, customers and communities while ensuring business resilience through turbulent times. 

Many businesses have responded swiftly and proactively while others with global footprints had to immediately respond in January with the first signs of an outbreak in China. Others are working through their strategies at this moment in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Such Black Swan events are exceptionally rare and difficult to navigate. Experience shows that taking the high road in tough decisions tends to pay off but there is no existing playbook to help leaders navigate.

As we’ve been monitoring the events since the end of last year, our heart has gone to all those impacted directly or indirectly by this pandemic. From those that have personally suffered, to healthcare workers that have worked tirelessly to limit the impact while often risking their own wellbeing and to leaders that have struggled to make the right decisions for all their key constituents.

Propulo is a purpose-driven organization that is on a mission to improve the world of work. As such, we will always put purpose over profit. While we refuse to profit from this crisis, we recognize that senior leaders and HSE leaders might need a resource to bounce off ideas. We don’t profess to have the answers, but we recognize that some of our expertise can help in these difficult times.

As such, we will be dedicating significant resources to help leaders navigate this landscape. We are rapidly creating free resources to help with this Black Swan event including several articles, videos, podcasts and a microsite to be launched on Monday. We will never charge for any support related to this crisis. We will live by our values that have clear True North Customer Commitments of unquestionably doing the right thing for our clients.

If you are interested in receiving regular updates with ideas that could help you navigate (and that is inspired by themes on the mind of other leaders), then please subscribe to our insights. We will not send you any promotional information beyond this free service.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel ( 

If there are themes that you would like us to research and share insights, please directly message me. We intend to cover themes such as:

  • Ideas to keep your employees safe;
  • Strategies to drive effective remote work;
  • Strategies to maintain focus through turbulent times;
  • Customer Experience strategies in challenging times;
  • Increasing business resiliency;
  • Ensuring business success post crisis;
  • Employee or Customer communication strategies.

As a leading safety, operations and customer experience firm, we are committed to increasing the wellbeing of all stakeholders and overall organizational resilience as we deal with the looming crisis.

We’ve taken care of our teams.

As for our own operations, we put the wellbeing of our teams first. From our very early investments in our team to eliminating business travel and shifting to remote work, our decisions were centered on investing in the wellbeing of our team members.

We are taking care of our clients.

For any training or group facilitation that cannot be done remotely, we have absorbed all cancellation costs. We continue to leverage our business continuity plans to ensure innovative ways to support client needs.

Please stay strong and healthy.


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