Issue No. 298 | April 29, 2020

Survival of the Adaptive

It’s time for a little self-congratulation on how we’ve handled this Pandemic.  It has been just over 6 weeks since everything changed and our nation went into a state of shutdown and so did we

Since that time, we’ve mastered working from home, playing Pictionary with family members who live far and wide, learned to wait in line at 6 ft. intervals to buy groceries, mastered the art of making and wearing masks,  and seen how much love and care there is in the community for helping others. 

Of course, people are hurting and scared but we see resilience in the faces of those who are working to keep people employed as well as those who are on the front lines aiding others and saving lives.

Darwin would say that we are demonstrating his theory of “survival of the fittest, but I would say we are demonstrating the resilience theory of “survival of the adaptive.”

Adaptability is more than just doing something differently. It’s about picking up the subtle cues that things are changing and then looking for better alternatives to how we were doing our work before,  So what are the cues we are picking up now that we should start thinking about that will drive our behaviors in this next phase?

One CEO I work with presented, at his All-Hands Meeting, some of his Micro-View and Macro-View perspectives of what his team need to be thinking about going forward. This leader is a strong strategic thinker and his ideas, no doubt, prompted some good discussion at the meeting. Here are a few of his discussion points.



· What are the new norms of the workplace that we will need to put in place?

· How will government’s rules impact work performance?

· What of our past practices can we keep, what should we change and what should we throw out?

· How will all this change our industry?

· What will our clients demand of us in terms of performance and safety?

· How does society differentiate risk vs reward?

· What do we need to do now and what can we do later?

· What if we have to maintain this mode of working indefinitely?

· How does this impact our hiring and retention strategies

· How do we support our community to ensure that we are all able to get through this in the best way possible

The signs are good based on how we’ve handled phase 1 that we can continue to adapt but we should not take it for granted. We will want to help each other identify the early signs and cues that will inform us of how we can advance our work as well as ensuring safety and wellbeing.

Your Challenge this Week: How are you and your organization preparing for this next phase? What help do you need to ensure ease of transition to our return to work. Share your comments below or email me.

© Richard Citrin 2020

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