Is COVID-19 an opportunity for a paradigm shift?
The immediate effects of COVID-19 have echoed resoundingly across the world. And many predict its impact will be long term. As the virus spreads, a spotlight is being shone on the current socio-economic system.
With more countries going into lock-down, we’re being forced to contend with more minimalistic everyday existence. More importantly, we’re starting to recognise and appreciate the way key industries of the labour market sustain our lives.
As systems all over the world grind to a halt, Dutch trend forecaster Li Edelkoort predicts the coronavirus epidemic will lead to “a global recession of a magnitude that has not been experienced before” but will eventually allow humanity to reset its values. She hopes for a ‘better system to be put in place [one] with more respect for human labour and conditions.’ It is our responsibility as conscious business leaders to contribute to creating newer, better systems.
Adapting and shaping a new world
As COVID-19 alters the economic landscape, businesses are beginning to realise that they must adapt in a few key ways:
- Minimise inefficient use of company’s resources
- Think creatively about supply chain and inventory management
- Utilise virtual workspaces more
- Maintain conscious leadership and culture to transcend silos, problem solve and unlock new potentials
Every crisis is also an opportunity
The spread of COVID-19 will undoubtedly be a difficult time for many. Yet, with every storm there is a silver lining. In the short time that the virus has raged through parts of Hubei, China and Northern Italy, the world has already seen positive changes in the surrounding ecosystem. In China there has been up to a 25% reduction in CO2 pollution and in Italy the waters of Venice have been running clear.
In these dynamic and ever-changing times, we are not in a position to know what tomorrow will bring. But we are able to control how we will respond to it.
Conscious Leadership During Uncertain Times
More than ever, a dedication to the practice of Conscious Capitalism is needed by our world.
Yuval Noah Harari, historian and renowned author of of ‘Sapiens’, ‘Homo Deus’ and ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ shares his thoughts in “The world after Coronavirus“, cautioning that “while we must act quickly and decisively, we should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions… The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks as we face a global crisis, perhaps the biggest of our generation, will probably shape the world for years to come.”
Here in our own part of the world, Professor Kristy Muir, Center for Social Impact CEO and Professor of Social Policy at UNSW Sydney, reflects that “this is the crisis we need to wake up as a society and find a way to ensure that our economies and societies are structured in a way that everyone has a right to safe, stable housing, that they have enough food to feed their families, that they have access to decent health care, that people have the opportunity to be educated, to work, to have friends and families that they can spend quality time with, to live to their full potential”… engaging our leadership, our humanity, and our values will help shape not just what happens during the crisis, but also what happens next.
We’ve put together some resources and tools to help you and your team to navigate COVID-19. We hope you will find them useful in these times.
Let us proudly stand alongside each other as Conscious Capitalists during this time, and remember that kindness and collaboration will go a long way.
May you and all those around you be safe and well.
The Conscious Capitalism Australia & NZ Team
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