Yesterday, I spoke at Trico Changemakers Studio and it was a delight to have a very engaging discussion with the members present.
What I observed about the resilience narrative is that they are based on patterns and a sense of predictability that is not present right now in a climate of ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and volatility. I have made a Beyond Resilience paradigm to show what we are missing out on many important themes.
Instead of asking yourselves, are you ready to bring your kids to schools, ask about how education can be reimagined for the future generation.
Instead of asking how can we solve homelessness together, why don't reimagine how the vulnerable population can be part of us, not something to be considered separate, different, and wanting?
We asked the wrong questions therefore get the wrong answers.
We need bold imagination for a future that is not what we desire, but we can thrive and build stronger.
Let's start a conversation.
Do you ever guess how this network economy works? There is no denying that we live in a hyper-networked and interdependent environment. The pandemic contagion provided a good point that one sneeze here can result to another upheaval over there.
Business leaders and entrepreneurs whose work is about creating impact for society, environment, culture, and economy know that to win is to contradict the prevailing dog-eat-dog culture and transcend parochial interests. There are four strategies to lead with virtues in this dangerous time.
Practice Generosity: prepare to give to get. It is a level-headed business strategy that operates from a point of feeding the market first, and then establishing reciprocal relationship where indispensability is established and accepted.
Build your community: keep your allies and kindred friends close. They provide the nudge and the right strategies to keep you accountable and updated with best practice. Best of all, you can trust them with relevant market information outside of your immediate operations.
Look up to real heroes: Where do we pledge allegiance to? There is no longer a center that holds everything but a series of multi-centers and nodes that operate and relate to one another based on needs and mutual benefits. We depend and become loyal to organizations and institutions that have risen above and beyond their calls of duty to excel in their missions. We look up to them for a way-out and a light to shine in moments of confusion. Who are your models and heroes?
Renorm what networking is all about: Instead of the shallow forms of networking, aim to build robust and deep connections that transcend immediate interests to long-term mutuality. Beside and beyond business, there is a large unmet need to form stronger bonds, not just to keep isolation at bay but to support strong, healthy, resilient leaders in their journeys. The value of connection is never about quantity, but quality.
What are you doing right now to maintain the virtuous circles to lead boldly in this dangerous time?
Within my network of business executives and leaders who are doing well, I see two patterns of opportunity-seeking behavior that are important to underline in this time.
One is that they don't believe in palliative measures and don't look to outward signals to navigate their way out of the pandemic slump. They create their own metrics, dig into what they do best, and engage their peers and industry leaders to help them move strategically.
The second pattern I observe is that these leaders believe with all of their hearts that investing and increasing their impacts is now, in spite and despite of the volatility of the markets. Waiting for the green signal from WHO, CDC, and other institutions to say that all is clear is like waiting for a new utopian society. Nobody knows what's going to happen next year, in two years, so on and so forth.
Two organizations have embarked on a new expansion project for their facilities, upgraded their equipment and protocols, and increase their value as a result. Another organization had been relentless in deepening their connections with their stakeholders that it has become a mature and evolved center since the pandemic, offering never-been-conceived offerings and services, not just as a response to help, but a mission-laden value. The pandemic accelerated their transition from an underperforming asset to a powerhouse organization! A number of organizations have decided that hiring for the future but keeping with the responsibility of pandemic prevention is the way to go.
There are powerful examples of not coasting along and resisting to just cope and endure. Beyond resilience, leaders must prepare for the inevitable-radical change that is now in our faces!
What are you doing now to increase your value and impact to your customers and stakeholders? What is the winning mindset that you should adopt to enable you to thrive and not just endure the crisis?
A few definition of terms, from the Nelson Gage Canadian Dictionary:
Norm- standard of certain type
Normal- usual, regular
Normality/normalcy/normalization-a normal condition
Normative-to do with or constituting/conforming to a norm or standard
There is nothing normal under the sun. Not in this age, not in this time.
We are in a state of flux, anything is up for grabs. There are winners and losers.
The economy and society are evolving at a rapid pace. The pandemic accelerated the turn of events even more.
Distant and remote has become synonymous to many things previously not accepted and not tolerated.
Sadly, we are not going back to the normal we had prior to this experience.
The world nowadays no longer conform to the old norm but a changing norm that we have yet to see form concretely in the next few years.
There is a pattern that is emerging from the ambiguity; not the uncertainty that is a function of indecision and paper pushing.
What is the new norm you are creating in your own organization that will assist you and also help you thrive in this volatility?
We live in challenging times.
It can be more challenging now that there is a complex reopening process that any blueprint is academic.
The guidelines in re-open are cautious, preventative, and risk-averse. What it doesn't prohibit is up for many interpretations. Moreover, you are juggling countless things to get the business going again.
What you need right now is practical advice that quickly assesses your situation, gives you a couple of options to choose from so that you can rebound with more precision.
What you require are pragmatic, creative, and resourceful advice and guidelines.
Who do you turn to for that valuable resource?
Isolation is optional and so does suffering.
Recently, the Alberta Government has released its Reopen Strategy to the public. One thing that did not surprise me is that, reopening is coming sooner that we thought.
Despite the fear and the trepidation felt by some quarters, businesses and institutions will have to reopen due to economic pressures brought by the lockdown. Easing slowly creates the activities we need to get our economy back on its feet or legs again.
Businesses identified to resume operations as early as May 4th will have to be, not just ready for slow but steady resumption of work, but also anticipate that this is a soft relaunch.
The following soft reopen can lead to further intelligence in terms of:
- modification of activities designed for new, emerging, and different demand from customers and clients
-sudden surge or slow demand or uptake for current services and programs
-continued communications to stakeholders about where you are in your transition
-preparation for eventual redeployment of staff-in-waiting or further laying off of unwanted labor
-new configuration of work, a blended approach to having both remote/online order/curb side and steady dine-in/personal in-person contact
- retooling of the business model to account for the new business order
-revisiting of the business strategy in view of these new realities
What are you thinking about right now that will help you get on with business-unusual faster than your competition? Doing a wait-and-see is a cop-out.
Let me help you now.