Back to COVID-19...
As I reflect on Covid-19 and the lessons learned and the associated transformations/evolutions, it’s amazing how information and communication technologies (ICT’s) helped us across all facets of life, from the personal to the professional, to even the spiritual. Could you imagine what the Great Lockdown would have been like if it happened forty years ago?
In terms of the lessons learned, one could easily write a whole book on how our institutions reacted and acted. In short, I suspect most of us would agree this was probably not our (these are, after all, our institutions) finest hour. Laid bare were a range of shortcomings in terms of what I like to call the Three Pillars of Trust: Competency, Character, and Connections.
That said, the virus has almost certainly imposed crash courses on a broad range of ICT’s that are making life better. And perhaps, most importantly (I hear you skeptics – only time will tell, but someone has to lead, and leading always involves risk and hence courage), the virus taught us how to bring to market life-saving vaccines far more swiftly than even the most optimistic of the experts imagined.
It’s been more than ten years since I launched Ninety.io’s parent Humalytix (HLTX). To me, it was super clear way back then that we already had a strong grasp of the ITD’s one needs to build extraordinarily productive, humane, and resilient companies, and that it was time to start building a cloud-based company operating system (COS) comprised of all the core tools that make it almost easy for leadership teams to not just embrace, but cascade, these ITD’s down and throughout their organizations.
For years, it has been clear to me that the slowdown in productivity growth in rich societies was less a problem of stagnation in technology than a combination of comfort with the status quo, a little fear of the unknown and maybe an excessive amount of regulations (a blog for another day).
Let’s just look at the tremendous benefits associated with remote work or what we prefer to call Work From Anywhere (it’s not “remote” as in far away or all by yourself, but it’s a choice to… work from wherever you are, to work from.. anywhere):
- less traffic means less congestion, smog, and road rage;
- less demand for oil and all of the geopolitical complexities associated therewith; and
- more opportunities to better match work with talent.
That said, many companies are still reluctant to embrace WFA because they fear their people will slough off or that theIr culture will devolve, or that they’ll struggle with their Work From Anywhere™ members feeling like outsiders.
We’re not suggesting everyone work remotely by any means. Some positions have to go to work in an office or a factory and/or a distribution center. We are hugely social creatures (we write about this in our ebook Remote Best Practices) and oftentimes the best ideas — those that really push a business, a community, and/or the economy’s productivity forward — are often the spontaneous outcome of unplanned, face to face interactions. We want both the mingling that breeds innovation and the widest possible take-up of that innovation.
As a leadership team coach and the CEO of Ninety.io, I talk to companies virtually every single day (yes, even on the weekends), have access to a ton of data and I can assure you that the companies that have been running on Ninety.io are moving through the Great Pause with a confident sense of who they are, how they are doing (from the tops to the bottoms of their organizations), where they are going and what they need to do.
Businesses, communities, and governments need to take a fresh look at their ITD’s, experiment, stand back and look at how they get work done and assess their business models.
Now is the time to re-imagine Work.
Now is the time to learn from this Great Pause and re-imagine how we do what we do.
Now is the time to do great Work.