“Wow” is probably not the best way to capture the last few weeks and months, some sources define the word as “way over wonderful”, and wonderful is a long way from where the majority of us probably feel right now. “Crikey”, is probably a better way to get started. Our normal has been turned upside down and Business As Unusual is the new norm. Hundreds of millions of people are having their lives capsized, many are paying the ultimate price and without a doubt, there will be very few people personally or professionally who are feeling bullish right now.
The current situation is hugely disruptive and there are many serious situations in our lives, businesses and economies that no one can play down. It would be disrespectful to do so. But amidst the negatives of the status quo, we cannot deny that positives are emerging. The skies and waters are clearer, the amount of pollution we are emitting is reduced, LOCAL and COMMUNITY have become key words once again. Many of us have met and chatted with our neighbours for the first time, if only from a safe few metres; we’ve offered help to the elderly and vulnerable; we’re shopping near home and supporting local businesses where we can; we’re paying forward goods, services and goodwill, fully confident that these will be paid back in future and probably not so worried even if they aren’t – we’re just trying to do the right thing. The positivity and good human values that are emerging have clear parallels with business, our clients, our supply chains, our colleagues and their families. Saying “yes” with a view to trying to help seems to be easier, competitors become allies for the greater good and quest for survival. There seems to be a genuine desire to get as many people and companies safely out at the other end as possible, whenever that may be.
All of these positive factors inevitably lead to some thinking about how we might maintain momentum once this situation is over. From a personal point of view, I want to push myself to take learnings and not just go back to how we were and think it’ll all be fine – I will continue to shop much more locally, to awkwardly say “hello” for the first time to people I ‘sort-of’ recognise from my street, to offer help even if it doesn’t look like it’s needed (on the off chance that 1 time in 10, it will be). The same applies to work and the business that we love, why shouldn’t we try to keep saying “yes” (sensibly of course) in situations where we’d normally keep quiet? I’ll definitely be giving it a go – feel free to give me a kick in person or over social, if it appears, I’m veering off-piste!