by Alexander De Beir - Managing Director ADM
Pondering together over the C
Think about 3 words starting with a C. Probably the most widely spoken words during the past weeks.
I suggest challenge, creativity and connectivity.
I know that we are only just approaching some calmer waters and, who knows, there might be another storm coming at us soon. But this time it will be different. No matter how violent the waves will be, we know that we can and must be prepared.
I would like to slightly change the nineteenth century philosopher Frederik Nietzsche’s widely used aphorism and adapt it to the current situation: “What doesn’t kill you makes you smarter.”
When we are faced with the challenge of getting back to business, hoping that it will be as normal and productive as it can be, we have one main responsibility: learn from what has happened and how it has affected our lives and business. Personally, I have learned some lessons and had the beliefs I already had confirmed.
This TIP-IM edition is inspired by a number of findings and lessons that can help us all move forward.
Connectivity first. More than ever, this crisis shows how closely we are connected with one another. Connected by the globalized economy. And how the global supply chain can be vulnerable. We are also connected in our relation to the pandemic and the realization that we can all be infected by the same virus. But our connectivity is also becoming more and more important in our capacity to resist, to rise back up. The digital connectedness allowed us to guarantee a certain continuity in our work. New tools helped us to understand that we can work more efficiently and simultaneously build a better balance between private and professional life. A step further in connectivity may help us to work even faster and more safely: will we be prepared to allow the government to trace us for the common good?
South-East Asia can be a good example to follow. The interview with Hong Kong based American Kristi Swartz is also very interesting in this respect. She works and lives in a place with just about the highest population density in the world but with a very limited number of deaths. The lessons learned from previous epidemics in the region have clearly paid off. With the necessary discipline, many inhabitants of the region have shown a willingness to sacrifice some of their privacy in order, even though this may sound paradoxical, to regain their freedom.
Creativity, then. New apps, as well as new services, new means of communication and new channels, without forgetting the incredible inventiveness, have spurred people from all over the world to bring a smile on the face of humanity with drawings, videos and photos, and thus have once again put the imagination of millions of people in the spotlight.
The creative spirit of entrepreneurs will undoubtedly also contribute to a more efficient management crisis. I am thinking above all of the preparations that any company will have to make responsibly in order to assess, anticipate and absorb x potential new crises as well as they can. The article devoted to this TIP-IM shows how creativity should help us to identify potential problems so that we can optimally combat them when they occur, in collaboration with all connected stakeholders. The short test we are offering you may provide you an insight into how well you are already armed against a new crisis.
Challenge, finally. Of course, not everyone will be able to rise up again. People who have run their businesses as a "good family man" and built up the necessary cash reserves are better armed to keep their heads above water. The adaptability, the ability of entrepreneurs to deal with the accelerating effect that a crisis has on business and the labor market, will also be decisive here.
The fourth article in this digital magazine explains how changes in business culture and, in particular, in HR policy, will become the norm in the future. Indeed, I believe that in a world where we have to learn to live with uncertainty, the flexibility of Interim Managers, their capacity to quickly start on temporary yet often crucial assignments will increasingly become an asset.
To those who grieve wistfully that the world will never be the same again after this crisis, I reply: every day we come together in a new world which is different from the day before. We are continually faced with challenges, but we should certainly not underestimate our capacity to deal with new ones.