Never Waste a Good Crisis — Renewal, Resilience, Responsibility and Climate Change
The idea of change before crisis hasn’t taken hold in the majority of personal or business contexts. Running on autopilot is the ingrained pattern, making the Covid-19 interruption and climate crisis especially important. Every aspect of it prepares companies and humanity for the more subtle, yet high-risk upset of stealthy yet perceptible changes to the climate. With business decision-making constricted with fear, now is a good time to take a page from the entrepreneurial experience. If an entrepreneur has not been through one or more crisis’s they are not considered investment-worthy. Resilience, strength, and a chance to reinvent arises from setbacks. Other forms of adversity can teach the same resilience. Moving to a foreign country, escaping violence, or bankruptcy work too. Anytime serious adversity lands in your life, it is a chance to bounce forward. Never waste a good crisis.
Witness the speed with which governments moved to support businesses and employees at risk. Companies switched from one product line to another in record time. Why do we need a crisis to remove blocks and barriers? It is much easier to drop business as usual when you have no other choice. Fortune favors the agile.
The Covid-19 pandemic offers a crash course in systems dynamics, illuminating weaknesses in food supply chains to executive decision-making competencies. The core assumptions underpinning decisions are fully transparent. Companies that invested in flexibility in their production lines had their investment returned. Those who did not were left idling. Five US companies paid out $700 million to shareholders and executives while laying off workers incurring reputational damage. Through such decisions, companies reveal their integrity and relevance to society. Failure to care exposes why employees will remain unengaged and profitability sub-optimal. A shift is underway and the Covid-19 interruption is facilitating it. Knowledge workers have a choice. Who you want to work for? Why you would want to? Are values only words? Going forward, care and compassion for more than profit will attract highly talented employees. It takes all eyes and senses when working in complex conditions. Fail to care and you fail to access responsiveness.