COVID-19: three calls to actionManagement | Artículo
- Enero 2020
COVID-19 disease is not only a health crisis of immense and unknown proportions, but it is also a trance that subjects us to a new economic, personal and business order.
When we are able to leave and return to our daily tasks, nothing will be the same. We will have to take actions that will mean a new beginning and thus we will be able to give an answer to those questions, although, for the moment, our activity, paradoxically, implies quietness and paralysis. However, when the phase of isolation passes, the call to action will imply an impetuous energy. We will need to focus on different purposes, which are to resist, to resolve and to reinvent.
The first call to action is to resist. In this unknown situation, the main idea is to make sure with all our strength that our basic necessities are maintained. It is imperative to safeguard our life, our health and that of those close to us.
We must also fight for survival in our work, in our company, in our team. Businesses in all sectors are applying contingency plans and digital transformations desperately and implementing teleworking and remote productivity systems.
The most affected sectors are trying to replace their offerings with new future opportunities, maintaining the essentials, eliminating dividends and protecting their customers and employees. In the companies that can still provide their services, the efforts are exhausting for all teams, with endless hours and days.
The adaptations of the teams to the new circumstances are almost heroic. Those who cannot maintain their activity due to the collapse of consumption and the restriction of movements adapt at a forced pace to a new reality, with reductions in staff or readjustment of production, waiting for what will happen. Educational institutions are converting all their training programs into online developments, forcing educators and students to adapt to a new forced learning environment, which abandons the warmth of human interaction for the coldness of a video on the Internet.
Depending on one or the other, we will either be facing a recession that will lead the world to a situation of lost growth or a spiral of economic destruction with a more serious impact than that of the 2008 crisis and a recovery that will not be possible until the second quarter of 2021 and whose consequences are much more profound and dramatic in terms of socio-economic well-being. Under the stress of this uncertainty, the necessary actions can only be those that allow us to reduce the damage -the biggest, the human - and then material damage. Solving the problems caused will be tremendously costly. All of us, companies and individuals, will face hard decisions and difficult solutions. We will return to times of scarcity, of contraction, of deprivation; the era of abundance will be over.
And finally, we will have to change priorities and reinvent our plans and strategies. Once we have internalized what has happened in reality, how it has affected us and how we have responded, we will have to look to the future and rectify our plans. We must assume that things will not go back to the way they were before and, in that reflection of acceptance, we will see that in some things we have even improved. Every crisis is an opportunity to learn and grow, to really know ourselves as we are.
The priorities we have chosen and the responsibilities we have faced will have defined us as individuals and as organizations. If, as companies, we have been able to give a response of trust to our workers, we will have discovered if we are truly devoted to people or not.
If during this time we have fostered a culture of transparency and accountability, we will evaluate our team's responses and see what it means to lose control and delegate, challenging the idea about the need to be present for productivity. And we may even be surprised by the response - people from a local company told me that their productivity had increased by 12%.
If we have really put the customer at the center of all our decisions, we will have seen what our value statement is, what is really important; we will have eliminated bureaucracy and inefficiency, and in many cases leading to forced agility and digitalization.
And from this analysis - which allows us to eliminate what is superfluous and uselessly accumulated over the years - about what we are like, we will be able to focus the energy to resurface with strength and learn from what we have experienced in this situation that has shaken us so abruptly. Urgency has broken the set archetypes and has confronted us with changes that we hardly saw as predictable. Each organization, each company, each individual has put what is essential at the center of our activity and questioned the established paradigms, the status quo. We also do this as a society when we see that it has not been robots, artificial intelligence or machines that have threatened our work, but that it has been a small, invisible virus that has forced us to reinvent ourselves, putting our system to the test, built for a world that was not the one we were facing.
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