Two weeks ago we closed out our last blog with the following question:

We may be looking at several weeks or a few months of social distancing measures and being encouraged to stay home, but when the intensity of the crisis lessens, will we emerge with any new perspectives or lessons learned as a result of our experience?

Undoubtedly we know from reports that we are still in the midst of combating the spread of the coronavirus, so it may seem premature to be thinking about what will be different, if anything, when we emerge from the grips of this crisis. It is important to acknowledge that the battle isn’t over. Individuals, especially marginalized and vulnerable communities, families, businesses and those on the front-lines providing essential public services clearly remain in the path of COVID-19.

So we come back to the question, is now the right time for us to start talking about changes triggered by our response to the coronavirus and lessons learned from our experiences during the heights of the crisis? Our coping and resiliency muscles are being tremendously tested, but even as we continue to face the challenges, we know we are discovering things and seeing opportunities we may have never voluntarily seen. 

It seems that never a week goes by without hearing people or organizations celebrating, claiming and embracing the label of being a “Disruptor.” By any measure, COVID-19 has been a major life disruptor. We instinctively know and feel that somehow our post COVID-19 lives will be a bit different. With a world grappling for answers, with so many people infected and with so many people dying, it’s fair to ask the question, can any good come out of the situation. The answer is yes.

From a personal perspective our resiliency has been tested and as a result we have discovered that while we struggle with the impact of physical isolation measures, our capacity to absorb shocks is greater than we could have imagined. Somehow we have risen to the challenge and are discovering we have the capacity to learn and to grow through the challenge. This discovery applies to both our personal lives and our work lives. So what have we learned as a result of COVID-19 and how will it impact our decisions and behaviours in the future? 

Whether it’s to do with our work or personal lives, here is a small sampling of our reactions:

  • We have been creative in finding solutions, or work-arounds, to situations faced
  • We have been agile and make decisions quickly
  • We have been resilient in the face of uncertainty
  • We have been innovative in finding alternate ways of communicating and staying in touch with family and colleagues
  • We have rediscovered and tapped into our existing strengths and personal agency
  • We have learned to do new things very quickly

We don’t have a crystal ball into the future, but we have a glimpse into changes we can anticipate will be a part of a post coronavirus world. Here is a small sampling of what those changes look like:

  • We have learned about the need to develop our competencies and level of comfort using digital technologies
  • We have learned that there are different and new ways of communicating that require different approaches
  • We have learned (or been reminded) of the value of collaboration
  • We have learned we have the capacity to rise and quickly respond to emerging challenges
  • We have learned that, in the work setting primarily,  solid risk management processes are critical to incorporate into our planning
  • We have learned that  organization policies, procedures and practice will need to be revamped in response to remote working arrangements

Our experience with COVID-19 is serving as a catalyst for what we need to do to prepare for a future that is already here.

Are there other ways you have reacted? What things have you learned as you have experienced this crisis?  Please share how you have reacted and what you have learned as a result.

Please take care and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Your remotely working PLC Team

P.S. You can find COVID-19 related information and resources by clicking here.

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