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COVID-19 – The Best Wake-up Call Humanity Has Ever Experienced?

by Mar 23, 202014 comments

Yes, we are probably going to have a recession. Yes, it is going to be very painful. As a leading physician has written, we are in for “some long and dark days ahead “.

BUT……..

Supposing this was the best wake-up call humanity has ever experienced in the last 100 years?

The gift of COVID-19 is this…………

According to the latest rersearch, our capacity to connect with each other at work and in the rest of our lives by digital means, has been accelerated by 7 years as a result of COVID-19.  Videoconferencing software company Zoom had 600,000 downloads in one day – March 15, 2020. The use of Instagram Live in Italy has doubled in two weeks.

When this settles down, people who have become comfortable with the routine of working from home will most likely choose to continue working that way – the reduction in highway congestion, stress, wasted communting time, and redundant real estate will be phenominal, offering us an opportunity to invest those savings in more productive activities and projects.

And speaking of redundant real estate, perhaps those gilded skyscrapers, formerly a testiment to corporate egos, and which will now be emptier, will be repurposed as affordable homes for many?

And our skies, like those in Wuhan, will become clearer and we will, once again, see the stars and the planets.

Our capacity to collaborate will move into exponential acceleration.  We will all be closer and more connected – not less – than ever before. We will spend more time with loved ones and family and friends.

Our current circumstances are forcing us to practice collaboration within and between organizations with greater vigor than ever before. As we eventually become more comfortable with this, and as it becomes our new standard of behavior, we will achieve levels of team performance at work that were the stuff of our dreams before. This level of heightened, and seamless, collaboration is the hallmark of great teams,

A new opportunity has now been created to reinvent ourselves and create work and services that meet people where they are at.

Capitalism has been getting a lot of bad press lately, but this is the opportunity for leaders to ensure their organizations are a force for good.  In our lifetime, we have never experienced such a unique opportunity to make positive connections with customers and employees and recallibrate the reputation of Western Liberal Capitalism. How we treat people now will be remembered by employees and customers for a long time.

We have been given a golden opportunity to lessen our preoccupation with competition and increase our commitment to collaboration. The inspiring examples of the soccer teams in Europe who are switching from competing to serving together models this option for us.

And best of all?  The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an end to all hostilities globally so that we can fight what he calls the “common enemy”. Could this pandemic bring about peace? Could it force us to collaborate, to be kinder and to avoid violent means to solve disagreements?

Check out how you are feeling with the free Job Burnout Survey and the Soulscreen.

How many other ways can you see yourself – and our world – changing for the better as a result of COVID-19?