Health: Personal, business, economic … I value it deeply at all levels, as I’m sure you do too. And it has never been more evident how connected these levels are.
How ironic is it that just a few weeks ago, my company, IT Networks, hired a Wellness Coach for our Team. I truly believe that my team is already the best you can ask for and I wanted us all to also be ultra-fit and healthy for the new growth we’ve embarked on.
In the weekly sessions with our Wellness Coach we’ve walked through the practice of life-long daily exercises, nutrition and stress management.
Then, the pace of COVID-19 grabbed everybody’s attention, turning the normal into a state of uncertainty and ambiguity.
But Jane, our Wellness Coach, continues to refuel our team’s body, mind and soul via frequent, mindful emails. I believe it is important. These little reminders about the easily dismissed daily routines keep us focused on the positive outlook beyond the pandemic.
THE NOW IMPERATIVE
What is not at all ambiguous but rather a straightforward imperative for all of us is the EXTREME SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Yes, it will have a great impact on our businesses, on people’s livelihood and will change the economy, and potentially our thinking moving forward, but we will recover from it.
What we cannot recover from is when human life is lost.
So, while there are tough lessons to be learnt, and the world and humanity will learn them like it or not, I see COVID-19 as a great human disaster. Many people will die, even more people will suffer and everyone in the world will be touched by it. We cannot afford to be philosophical about it.
We must act: do the right thing.
I feel privileged that my company that is designed for virtual technology support, can help organisations in essential services such as healthcare (especially respiratory conditions), financial and Not-for-Profit to continue to deliver their services to the community effectively and without interruptions.
It also frustrates me that some people take advantage of technology and valuable communication channels to spread misinformation through malice or ignorance.
DON’T GIVE IN TO MISINFORMATION
Just as we need to take steps to avoid COVID-19 or as we take precautions to avoid a computer virus, we must also protect ourselves from ‘fake news’. All of these affect our well-being on at least one of the three health levels I mentioned before.
It is important to be informed and, especially for business leaders, to think forward with trustworthy insights.
I found this interview “How we must respond to the COVID-19 pandemic” with Bill Gates. Conducted by Chris Anderson, the creator of the TED phenomenon, it is a good source of fact-based insights.
What makes this virus so dangerous? Why is it different to previous pandemics? What are the implications to economy and business?
I confess that as a company, we live and breathe Microsoft products because they can be trusted. I also think that Bill Gates, as a smart technologist, savvy businessman and a passionate and knowledgeable philanthropist, is well equipped to comment on the historical development of COVID-19 and its implications on the global level.
Whether you choose to watch the video or not, here are two courses of action we can take:
1. Our responsibility as leaders is to help curb the disaster. The only thing we need to do and what we are in the best position to do, is to promote and facilitate Extreme Social Distancing to stop the spread.
Increasingly, we must rely on technology to show leadership, stay together, get things done. Bill Gates manages his multi-billion charity using Microsoft Teams video conferencing. These remote collaboration tools are widely available to even the smallest business.
While managed IT services companies, like IT Networks can help you, you can easily use a myriad of free apps, from Skype to Zoom, to FaceTime, to Messenger and enable your Team and Clients safe and instant collaboration.
2. On a country level, the political leaders must show leadership to execute on the point above and, they must facilitate Extreme Testing and the race to develop therapeutics to help those at risk.
If we can use our leadership skills to handle the NOW, we can start re-imagining and planning for the NEXT NORMAL.
RETHINKING THE NEXT NORMAL
While we can try to dissect the philosophical aspects of the thinking and behaviours that led us here, and learn from it, we can also take some guidance in the path suggested by McKinsey in an article “Beyond Coronavirus: The Path to the Next Normal”
Equipped with the 20/20 vision of the lessons from history and the most recent global crisis, the GFC 2009, McKinsey attempt to “answer the question being posed by leaders across the public, private, and social sectors: What will it take to navigate this crisis, now that our traditional metrics and assumptions have been rendered irrelevant?”
As an answer they have proposed a call to action in five stages. Leading from the crisis of today to the next normal that will emerge after the battle against coronavirus, these stages are: Resolve, Resilience, Return, Reimagination, and Reform.
According to McKinsey, and I agree, collectively, the ware against COVID-19 is one that leaders (country and business) today must wage and lead, if we are to find an economically and socially viable path to the next normal.
Hence, the Resolve is most critical right now as it will enable us to address other stages with more confidence and clarity.
Here is the thing. You can consider any of these stages as a separate lesson. At any given time, nothing is more important for a leader than to Re-Imagine how you can do business differently, perhaps leveraging technology and connectiveness. Not easy, but already a plethora of businesses are reinventing themselves daily.
How can we rise above the waves to reinvent our business (and individual work for the self-employed or temporarily unemployed) and help those we are responsible for, or the society in general, to reach the other side of the crisis?
We may be in the social distancing mode, but, at 1500mm apart, we need to stand together!
Let’s collaborate. Let’s think together. Nobody is organising an event for you to attend. Let’s start the conversation here. YOU ARE INVITED!
Take care. Good health and good luck.
Jim Kay | Founder | IT Networks
About the Author:
Jim Kay is the Founder and CEO of IT Networks, an Australian owned technology services company providing managed IT services to specialist SME companies in Healthcare, Financial Services and Not-for-Profit sectors. The company’s unique difference is its Business Model based on no-surprises-no-risk pricing and proactive problem solving through fit-for-purpose technology design and advice.