Pandemic Business Blog

Pandemic Business Blog

27 Apr 13:00 by John Neal


If nothing else the current social distancing measures provide us all with an opportunity to reflect.  

We will spend time remembering what life was like before, perhaps we will miss some of the things we took for granted, and long for when the time comes to get back to normal.  But stop!! How was the ‘normal’ for you?  

We have been so busy focusing on what we can get and who we can beat to the finishing line at all costs, that we have forgotten about, what we have and how we can use it to help others.  The world and the business landscape have changed and the ‘normal’ has gone for good.  We have been given the opportunity to re-engineer our social playing field and look back at our businesses with fresh eyes.  

We can choose to rehabilitate our lives and businesses, or we can choose to rejuvenate them.  Rehabilitate is an interesting term and is used to describe the process of returning to ‘normal’ or same condition after illness, addiction or imprisonment.  How much do we miss about how it was before? Many organisations were fighting an employee disengagement battle and struggling to retain great people.  Many organisations were fighting against the imminent arrival of the digital transformation, choosing to procrastinate rather than innovate.  Our workplace culture and values were something to shout about during employee on-boarding, but rarely influenced strategic thinking in any great way.

As a real-time example, I was recently catching up with a friend as part of my ‘lockdown’ outreach well-being programme.  His organisation had taken advantage of the Governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furloughed all but a handful of essential workers who were required to maintain a basic organisational heartbeat.  I asked how he was making use of this opportunity, was he and his team thinking about how he can rejuvenate his business and bring it back bigger and brighter than before.  I asked if he was thinking about the digital transformation and how his business can leverage technology to reach out to those employees who were at home.  To my total surprise he told me that he was furloughed and was using this time to catch up on all those jobs around the house that he had put off for so long.  At that point I was joined by Albert Einstein who famously defined madness as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result to materialise”.

Let me repeat myself, we have been given an opportunity to think, to re-shape, to undo and to change the ‘normal’.  We have an opportunity to re-define our organisational culture and values to include courage, selflessness, teamwork, dedication and self-sacrifice and all other examples that we see from our frontline workers, fighting this terrible virus, fighting to maintain vital supply chains in food and medical equipment, fighting to maintain law and order, fighting to school our key workers children, but above all else, fighting to provide hope for us all. 

What will you be remembered for during this crisis?   Will it be for how you transformed your garden or will it be for taking some small steps to challenge the ‘normal’.  Let us not waste this once in a lifetime opportunity, let us reach out to our families, neighbours, friends and colleagues to build a brighter future for us all.   There is always opportunity held within adversity and it is this that helps humankind progress.

Come and talk to me.

John Neal, Head of Learning & Development Maytrix Group Ltd.


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