Capturing the lessons for our future
In and amongst the daily headlines of tragedy and gloom there are stories that give hope for the future. They shine a light on what we’re capable of as humans and as businesses when we’re challenged.
Each day we can experience some of these positive shifts for ourselves. In the massive numbers who volunteered to support the NHS. In the acts of kindness between neighbours or even complete strangers – stepping back and waiting on the pathway while another passes to ensure social distancing.
Business have switched their core production to supplies, equipment and services for the health and social care teams on the front line and their patients. At times this has been done at cost. In other cases, it is free.
Great ideas for collaboration and more agile working that would have been parked in the ‘too hard’ box for months or even years before the virus hit are being implemented at unprecedented speed, with new practices taking root. WFH is now a fixture in our business lexicon. More than that though it is enabling leaders to learn how to manage remote teams well. And it’s showing even the ‘die hards’ for work happening only in the formal workplace that there is another way.
These are the relatively simple and obvious changes. Some will go much deeper. The point is every action we take in this crisis is an opportunity for learning how to work with emergence that will be valuable for our future organisation. If we aren’t capturing the learning, we must.
Most of all, we must make sure that the learning is applied and that we don’t simply snap back into old ways when this crisis has passed. We won’t see again the like of ‘business as usual’ that prevailed a few weeks ago so why would we continue to act as if it existed?
A different future is emerging and what we are learning now, if we choose to pay attention, may provide some foundation for the organisations and leaders we want to become and that will thrive in the new and hopefully kinder and more collaborative world that’s emerging.