We can't fault our wise men and women for not being able to predict the COVID-19 black swan, (although I heard that it was predicted sort-of in a horror novel sometime in the 90s!) Black swans are not subject to predictions or forecasting.
The word 'unprecedented' comes from the root word precedent, which means, "a case that will serve as an example of a later case." This falls under an unprecedented category of events.
In this new dispensation, some are going to be successful and some will not survive, evidently because adaptation is not an inborn trait. Organizations must willing to bear the burden and opportunity to adapt immediately, consistently, and in painstaking way, strategically.
They consistently believe that they have nothing to lose but more to gain from the evolution.
They see the big picture but very pragmatic and practical in their approach to their work, occupation, business.
They know that change is constant, and that instead of fear and trepidation, they should be quick to improvise and test what works.
They consider the fact that timelines are set artificially, for example: "when vaccine is available", setting their own timelines and strategies ahead of the crowd.
They do not sit tight and wait for dole outs or supports. They support others and do not have the scarcity mentality despite the situation.
Some are very fortunate because they are reaping the benefits of a fearful public through goods, services, and cultural supports they can provide right now. Kudos to them! But for us that are not severely impacted, we can make a huge difference with what we have and can leverage.
One thing I like about this new change is that opportunities are new every morning.
Our actions make those containment possible. Our current actions make those future decisions possible.
Something came back to life!
A little plant that was gifted last year by a dear colleague came back to life. I am not good with plants. They die with me. Given that awareness, I thought it was dead as dead.
Little did I found out that, a few weeks ago, two buds started to spring back to life.
I was doing my spring cleaning this morning in the area and found out a simple fact. Life happens!
There are things that are essential no matter what. When you think that everything is starting to go on a wrong tangent, focus on what you can govern.
When you least expect, events or situations can turn into positive accidents waiting to be mined to its full benefit. Life presents its surprises and serendipities.
The question is: are we fully aware that positive unexpected outcomes exist too!
It is a big deal and worth celebrating when it happens.
When it happens more, it's not luck, it's called harvest time!
As you might have received in your inboxes, restaurants, businesses, organizations, government agencies have sent their own crisis mitigation policy statements on COVID-19.
In those statements, they have succumbed into the overabundance of caution, to suspend their events or ask their staff to work from home.
While these measures are meant to "flatten the curve" of the virus spread, we are also bombarded by all sorts of misinformation from social media and even our well-meaning friends and relatives who resort to more panic-driven actions than anything of rational mindset and objectivity.
Caution based out of solid evidence is a good parameter but once it borders on panic, fear-mongering, and delusional thinking of doomsday scenarios, it becomes a vehicle for more social unrest and collective fright.
Let us be mindful that we need to be calm, level-headed, and objective about the virus as much as we can so we don't spread more fear and heighten the level of insecurity that people feel while they are self-isolating and social distancing from other people.
For those of us who are healthy and able to navigate the closing spaces in our community due to the pandemic, we need to show compassion, understanding, and care for those that are actually sick or feeling symptomatic. We do this not by buying more supplies that we can need for 14-days self-isolation or by refusing to let fear control our lives.
I hit a ditch, hitchhiked with a total but kind stranger, get to where I should go, and work until it was time to go home.
It was a every eventful day but nonetheless, another one of those days that could stop you on your tracks with all the stuff that needed to be taken cared of.
The choice to let an event or a series of events shake you is a choice we can make. Some days it could be worst. Some days, it could be too light that you can't believe you are breezing through it.
Whatever the day would look like, know that it could happen and when presented with an incident, do what you can possibly do, get back on the track, dust yourself off, and appreciate all the great things that you have. Believe that people have your back and they have yours.
It is not a mantra or a façade that we can easily put on when we know we can feel better despite the terrible things happening. We have the choice to not allow more dwelling on the problem but rather focusing on solutions and building-back better.
Did you notice in the grocery produce section that they sell those naturally imperfect fruits and vegetables? There is nothing wrong with them.
They weren't squeezed or plucked during the process but naturally looking ugly or simply not that 'pretty sight' to see-with pockmarks, dents, and unusual coloration.
There is nothing wrong with how you look, how you talk, how you walk or how you move when these are all natural, as in your genetic predisposition. What is wrong is the over-reliance on how other people's comments and opinions about your looks, your speech, your movements dictate your overall perception about yourself and negatively affect your well-being and healthy sense of self.
Turn around, there is no such thing as perfect human being. Enjoy what you have, improve what you have, and believe in your fundamental goodness and completeness.
We are all frightfully and wonderfully made!
This week, I hosted and facilitated a strategic conversation with business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives of associations and service programs in Central Alberta.
Riding the waves of recovery is a fascinating subject, but combined with the insights of surfing, it generated more visual appeal than anything related to riding on the waves. I am not a surfer by any means but there are clear and compelling insights about surfing that can be applied in business and life.
For beginners, you need to consider the following:
1. Health- you need to be in good shape, young and old can quickly adapt to the physicality of the sport. Some sports like snowboarding and swimming are already in the league . In business, your fundamentals must be in good shape. If 'cash is king,' know how to get short-term cash by extending your value to your customers, increasing your offering, and getting better at repeat business.
2. Skills and capacities-you need to be a good swimmer to be safe and have fun doing the sport. Knowing your capacity will help you upgrade your skill and learn to remediate. You can't fake your way into the game unless you have the capacities to deal with different scenarios, starting small and learning as you go. Same is true with business owners who do not have the basic skills in marketing, branding, asking for the sale, and management of key staff and assets. Do you have the right team aboard? Do you keep abreast of current trends and information about your target markets?
3. Go where the waves are-go where the waves are but stay away from crowded areas. You need to go where there are less people to practice your work and allows for quick feedback that can improve your performance. Staying safe and having fun while learning is the best environment. In tough economic times, look for opportunities that are occasionally missed because they are not 'sexy' or normally considered a profitable segment or niche.
4. Best tools you need-is it for gliding and recreation or is it for meeting big waves? There are tools you need to be able to perform properly and optimally. Some of these are equipment and tools and some are expert advisors you need to have so that you get the best information that is catered to your unique needs.
5. Judging the opportunity- a skilled surfer they say should be familiar with waves, how they are produced, the effect on the ocean, and the kinds of safety measures you have to do to maneuver into situations that are not expected. As Dixon would say, "surfers are alert for the unexpected at all times." Experienced ones can be on top of the waves one minute and can stay back, holding their ego in check when conditions are not favorable.
Riding the waves of recovery is a science and an art in itself. Instead of accepting that a wipeout is looming and that you will be at the bottom of the ocean again, consider using these strategies to take control and navigate the complexity of the situation on your advantage. Positivity as a mindset is contagious that it can create a better environment for your team and your workplace.