At times, the world with its global challenges seems intimidating. It sometimes makes us feel hopeless or reactive at best. Climate change has been on our radar for a long time. Yet, it hasn’t been very effective in changing our behavior.
The latest COVID-19 crisis is maybe the most radical but also most eye-opening example revealing how vulnerable our organizations and society as a whole are. A major shift in mindset and systems setup is required to future-proof humanity. COVID-19 is certainly a threat. But it is also one of the largest opportunities we had to rethink the status quo. And we are not as alone and helpless as we may think.
Never before have we had so many opportunities, so powerful technologies. Never before have we known so much. Never in the entire history of humankind have we been more connected. And never have we had so powerful tools that allow us to prepare for crisis and the unexpected.
This article will give insights in what we can learn from previous crises, how we can leverage COVID-19 as an opportunity and it will introduce proven approaches to help organizations to foresee, manage and build for disruption, establish resilience to withstand crises and learn from and adapt to inevitable changes.
The status quo: A quietening realization
The current Corona crisis is a tragedy. It came unexpected to many and the dimensions and speed by which it perpetuates are equally shocking and paralyzing. Within a few weeks, it turned into a global deadly threat and caused an economic halt in most sectors and regions. Drastic measures have been taken to dampen a phenomenon of exponential scale. As disastrous as the current pandemic is, it is actually not so surprising in two ways: First, it is nothing but a symptom of a system where competition and endless growth are values and individualism and egoism triumph.
Second, COVID-19 is by no means the only disruption that is happening, only one that immediately and directly threatens our very own existence. Unforeseeable exponential disruptions in economy, society and environment (so called black swans) are a new reality only a few of us are prepared for. Most of the businesses and corporations we see today will not exist in the same way just a few years down the road. Nation states and the fundamentals of democracy will be reinvented in the years to come. According to Darwin’s evolution theory “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
The COVID-19 pandemic offers a huge potential for global adaptation and system reboot. The coronavirus epidemic will lead to a global recession of unprecedented magnitude but it will also allow humanity to reset its values. It is not only a quarantine from the virus but equally a quarantine of consumption, transport and travel. This will have a profound societal, economic and ecological impact. And it will show us how we run our organizations in a different, a more resilient way.
You can read the full article here.