In the sea of companion uncertainty to the first pandemic most of us have ever known, one thing has become clear: Covid-19 has effectively erased our longstanding blueprint for connection. A new draft under these unprecedented circumstances begs for a meaningful pause, with thoughtful attention given to four key tenets:
In a new world that largely finds itself restricted from face-to-face interaction outside the home, less progressive companies will be pressed to adapt their operations model on a dime. To quickly and successfully mobilize a newly dispersed workforce to productivity, these companies will be challenged to not only leverage technologies they may have little experience or familiarity with, but to also overcome longstanding management philosophies that doubt the viability, efficacy and productivity of remote work.
Covid-19 has effectively blown any residual notions of national or institutional independence out of the water. The disjointed race to secure necessary personal protective equipment and ventilators has highlighted the comprehensive interdependence of systems ranging from global supply chains and neighboring states within the same country, to foreign partnerships as never before. That interdependence is equally vital under the virtual roof of a single institution--where interdepartmental to vendor communication disconnects have the capacity to derail entire operational frameworks.
In times of crisis, the quality and depth of institutional communication is everything. With personal connection at its core, the tone and agenda set by leadership in these critical moments not only defines an organization's core values, but is a key predictor of brand equity into the future. Companies without the inclination to acknowledge the critical connection between external events and human capital will invariably endure collateral damage marked by waning advocacy and accelerated turnover in the aftermath of a crisis.
The irony of the presumption that someone's sickness on the other side of the world is another nation's problem to solve has become dramatically apparent in recent months. We are only as healthy as the sickest among us, and our relative health--from the physical to the economic—is indivisible from that of our neighbors' in every corner of the world. As we watch it play out, those most in denial of that connection may well be the very ones most adversely impacted.
Frederick Douglass said, "If there is no struggle there is no progress." Given the tremendously high cost of this modern day struggle, it would be a shame not to acknowledge the key insights it offers, and leverage them to forge a progressive new path ahead.