Resetting your business and life post Covid-19
By Sid Madge, author of ‘Meee in a Work Minute’
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen. Vladimir Lenin
Most of us have had to make many changes as we’ve dealt with Covid-19. When we’ve been lucky, we have been able to stay home, and have some enjoyable and meaningful down time reconnecting with family, knowing that the majority of our wage is being paid. If we are unlucky, we have been struggling financially and emotionally, or worse we have lost a loved one.
However, amongst the gloomy predictions of Great Depression-like economic slumps and massive job losses, there is hope. And opportunity. The opportunity for us, as a society to change, and an opportunity for each individual to make changes to their lives and create a better balance.
Nobel Peace Prize winner and social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus reminds us that pre-Covid wasn’t actually that great! The ‘new normal’ everyone is talking about smacks of compromise, limitation and lack. Yunus suggest we should not be planning for economic recovery post-Covid, we should redesign the economy and, therefore, business from scratch. I couldn’t agree more.
Never in our history have we stood as such a juncture. We can scramble to go back to a business as usual that was often dysfunctional, unfair and damaging or we can redesign something better for all of us as well as the planet.
There are already encouraging signs of this much needed reset. The city of Amsterdam has embraced economist Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics – a blueprint for redefining priorities as they seek to rebuild after lockdown. Raworth’s model, moves us away from our toxic obsession with growth and seeks instead to solve humanity’s 21st century challenge; how to meets the needs of all within the means of the planet.
Business needs to adapt. We need to adapt. And as we adapt, we need to define what we want this ‘new’ to be, and work towards creating a work/life that provides a healthy balance. Our embrace of technology, home working and digital solutions is unlikely to recede completely even once a vaccine is found. While this move was enforced by the virus many, especially Gen X and older, have been surprised to find the technology is more than up to the task and home working gives greater freedom, flexibility and provides a better work/life balance.
But, how do we maintain connection and develop strong, resilient and empathetic cultures when the people in them no longer travel to an office or share the same physical space? This will be a particular challenge as move into a lower-touch reality. This will mean adapting to social distancing regulations, potentially a series of temporary lockdowns, travel restrictions and new hygiene guidelines. Customers will be much more cautious when it comes to physical contact, enclosed spaces and large gatherings. Potentially this could mean that we become less connected, which could pose a further danger to our happiness and mental health. So, maintaining a connection has to be part of our new lives and new business models and ethos.
Human beings are social animals. Forget new normal, we need ‘New Balance’. And that starts with the human being. There is no coincidence that the businesses and governments that have fared best against the Covid storm have been led by kind, empathetic and open leaders. Think Jacinta Ardern – New Zealand’s Prime Minster. Arden represents a welcome shift away from authoritative power. She does Facebook live sessions and answer questions kindly, honestly and transparently.
So, how do you create a ‘New Balance’ within your business?
Here are five practical steps to help make this ‘new balance’ a reality in your business and in the lives of your staff, your customers – and yourself. Share these tips with those around you and help them create the space to turn these into regular habits:
Businesses that have adopted kind, empathetic and human-first approaches are the ones that are moving forward in difficult times. The businesses that are going to thrive in the new economy are going to be the ones that are focused on building community and fostering belonging for customers and employee.
The Covid experience has helped us to appreciate what is most important the simple things that are at the heart of being human such as love, family, happiness, safety, gratitude etc. Let’s keep focused on these human things, at home and at work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.