I’m once again in a bit of a contemplative mood thanks to a thoughtful coffee discussion with a good friend this morning.
I’m more convinced than ever that, while it’s been the most tragic event of our lifetimes, we’ll exit this epidemic in a dramatically better place than we entered it.
First and foremost, we now know how serious, painful, and damaging a viral epidemic can be. We weren’t ready for it this time, but we will be next time. After this is all over, we’ll be able to look back at varying approaches, analyze what worked and what didn’t, and develop best practices we can leverage in the future.
Second, after the longest economic expansion in modern history, many businesses, especially large ones, had built a great deal of, shall we say, “operational fat” and what I refer to as “organizational debt” (https://bassamsalem.com/2013/09/11/organizational-debt/). In good times, we tend to procrastinate difficult decisions choosing instead to focus on all of the good around us; corporate America now has the kick in the rear it’s needed to clear out that debt and unnecessary fat –and the political air cover to take action. We’ll emerge from this experience incredibly more efficient and well-positioned for success.
Third, and finally, we will have accelerated a great deal of transformation already underway, with old business models that were failing slowly disappearing, and new business models that were initially slow to win acceptance now gaining favor much more quickly. We will have expedited progress.
My only words of caution are that we not overcorrect or overreact…but I’ll leave that to a future post :-). Here’s to beating this together and flourishing on the other side.