According to Shaune Jordaan, CEO of Hoorah Digital, the internet and social media, which make information readily available in a scenario completely at odds with our reality 25 years ago, are meanwhile feeding rather than quelling the global state of panic.
Coronavirus is, arguably, like nothing we’ve experienced in recent history. It’s both remarkable and scary, and we’ll be talking about it for decades to come. Conversely, however, we would not have been able to respond as proactively as has been the case to date if it were not for the fact that we do have these tools at our disposal.
Some of our key findings and learnings:
Ways of working
Remote working can be fantastic. There are so many tools and resources that allow for this, so employees can continue functioning as a team. At Hoorah, most of our work happens in the Cloud through the Google Business suite. This means everything is accessible, almost like a virtual warehouse, to everyone, irrespective of their location. Could this new way of working mean we finally uncouple desk occupancy from productivity?
Moving forward with technology
Business cannot freeze in the face of fear. At the most fundamental level, the ability to adapt and progress is what defines a sustainable, successful business. Where possible, we need to use the technology at our disposal to weather the storm, so finding new ways to sustain ourselves in these uncertain times and into the future.
We should view the lockdown as an invitation to innovate – as entrepreneurs we are also problem solvers, and there is plenty of solving that needs doing. As long as we remain connected, however, we can find ways of working together to find solutions, to build more resilient systems and perhaps even to redefine the fundamentals of how we do business. Take comfort in the fact that history shows us that business always finds a way. Humans always find a way. Our adaptability and resilience is our great strength.
Seek opportunity in chaos
The world feels chaotic right now, but the great Chinese strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu reminds us in The Art of War that ‘in the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity’. What if we use this time to rethink our beliefs, particularly about consumption, conservation and creativity? What if we open our minds to the possibility of emerging from coronavirus as a society that is better equipped for an uncertain future, as nations with serious regard for the long-term impact of climate change, as communities who rethink our values in relation to what benefits the common good?
We don’t know what opportunities will come of this, but let’s remain open to the possibilities. Importantly, we need to find ways to keep working – because there’s no other choice. We cannot allow panic to prevent us from making progress. It’s true that that ‘progress’ may be redefined over the coming months, but we should embrace that.
Humans, more than any other species, change; we make, we innovate, we reinvent ourselves. Our challenge here – no, make it our goal – is to change for the better. Let’s approach Covid-19 as our generation’s opportunity to redefine how we think about our place in the world, particularly in respect of how we do business and the consequent impact on our environment.