As I witness social, business and economic ramifications of the Coronavirus, I am forming my thoughts of how this plays out. I’m going out on a limb and I bet many will disagree.
Phase 1: Mass hysteria is actually good. Right now everyone is in free-fall mode. I personally believe – against most I speak with – this hysteria is the single best approach because we Americans won’t listen unless we’re really scared; and, the most important response right now is avoiding face to face contact for several weeks. Hysteria will grow as many hospital workers will unfortunately become infected. One positive benefit of isolation is spending more time with family and reflecting.
Phase 2: Business focus. I’ve spoken with numerous CEOs this past week who all want first – just like during 9/11 – to protect their people. Once they do, a point will arise soon where everyone wants to get back to being focused on business … even if it’s only to engage your people and take their mind off the challenges of a pandemic.
Phase 3: Harsh reality. Many people will die. Economic losses will not be recouped.
Phase 4: Reinvention. At a certain point the virus will end. Some of the potential silver linings are: 1. Unprecedented healthcare focus and research will usher in significant — and many unanticipated —medical breakthroughs 2. Widespread virtual work will advance new business models & products/services, and unleash a positive transformation of companies, industries and work itself 3. And, my greatest hope is: we will galvanize as one world, and understand the dots are always connected and the best way we thrive is by working together.
As communication is the key to solutions, I would love to hear your thoughts.