Any serious crisis, at home or in business makes us examine our value systems or values, and what we consider value. It makes us scrutinise our options and our plans.
Crises can also be disruptive, and so we should look at them to become better at handling the possible outcome of the crises. Of course, the assumption is that we are the recipients of the disruption, and not the cause. If we are the cause, those impacted by us may wish to think of what to do using the learnings from this article.
In analysing our plans and strategy, we might find flaws and a new path to move forward with a change. This can also give us is a sense of purpose.
Purpose in life or in business is more than making a living or making a profit. It is the reason why we exist and what we want to achieve other than become rich or make money. Do we want to set up a caring company that takes care of employees and customers and ESG (Environment, Society and Governance)? Or do we want to improve the environment in which we do business? Let us say we are in the packaging business, do we want to reduce waste or ensure we do not increase the trash in your home, which eventually has to be thrown away. Or do we want to ensure we use recycled raw materials or from renewable sources. Or do we want it be easy for people to use the product because of the packaging, such as plastic bottles, or do we want to provide consumable packaging made from edible materials for edible items such as yoghurt?
So, do we say our purpose is one or more of these? Or that we provide ecological and society friendly packaging. All of these are reasonable purposes of our packaging business.
Our purpose could be to avoid imported material or to fight imports. There are many valid purposes different people will have.
As we re-look our plans, we have to assess risk in a better way and make our business less exposed to risk. We also need to be resilient. That means our way of thinking has to change and a modicum of caution should come into it. We have to study what far out ideas and happenings can impact us; are we ready for them? How do we react to them; and how do we rebuild ourselves? How do we take responsibility to reduce the power of the crisis and the disruption we are facing?
A good example is the article on Ghosts of Christmas Past: What’s ahead for Greenbriar and other Atlanta Malls? by Mike Jordan. https://bit.ly/30rQqiO
How do we preserve the value (preservation is an important part of value) we are creating? Should how we look at value change?
The answer is our basic values should not change. We might wish to add courage and resilience in our values. We might want to look at the new value the business will provide, given the crisis, and see how we can increase the value. For example, we thought the best way to work and gain value from our employees was to put them in an office with close interaction. Work from Home has changed our thinking and our strategy? For how long depends on our values and what we value.
Always remember that human greed is a contributing factor in life. This means there are people with poor values and who value their own power and wealth over society’s could cause disruption and even chaos, as the financial world did in 2008. Greed is unlikely to change.
Second, people wish to move back from the new normal into a more known way of doing things. We are more comfortable with the old ways. So, work from home is slowly giving way to return to the office.
Lastly, people like to conform, and this conformist tendency makes us want to follow a well-set precedent. It is like wearing blue jeans. In India even in villages younger women are wearing jeans because they can belong and it gets them out of being in a particular class.
All this thinking helps preserve and even create value in a crisis or in disruption.