The Covid19 outbreak has seen a lot of new government policy created. Here in Australia we have seen lockdown and isolation policies to manage virus impacts and health outcomes, financial assistance packages to soften the economic impact and maintain some commercial readiness for an economic recovery and most recently a focus on the need to support the mental health of the population.
While there has been a lot of debate around how we strike the balance between the health and economic outcomes, the importance of community – being stronger together to borrow a phrase – has been critical. As a result of the collective ethos I noted in the previous post, and the sense of community and cohesion, today we marked the recording of the 100th Covid-19 death of the outbreak. Our thoughts are with those societies where this loss is (or has been) the daily toll rather than the accumulation.
The title of this post was taken from a song written by Australian actor and musician, Ben Lee. The song has become something of an anthem for the current situation here in Australia.
If you do not know the song, here is a video from 2013 that promotes the song’s sense of community in the context of events relevant at that time.
It reminds me that back in mid-April Michael Davies from ContinuitySA offered this very important early learning from the pandemic;
COVID-19 has also graphically demonstrated how connected we are, and how that connectedness is a source of great vulnerability
One of the major areas of concern for many has been the increased stress due to loneliness during the isolation period. Perhaps we need to re-consider the way we have labelled our mitigation strategy.
we shouldn’t refer to physical distancing as “social distancing” – the two terms carry different meanings with very different consequences
This quote comes from Sonja Blignault’s reflections on a webinar I attended last month – “Complexity, Chaos and COVID-19”. An interesting panel of speakers and the recording will be especially relevant to those who are interested in complexity thinking and its application to the concept of resilience. Dave Snowden was one of the panelists and regular readers will know that the Cynefin framework has been frequently referenced in my blog posts.
A couple of other messages from the Cogntive Edge webinar that may be useful to inform our thinking as we look to our exits and next journeys.
… we have been focused on creating alignment for so long, that we have lost the diversity we need to be resilient.
This made me think back to David Lindstedt’s article I referenced in the first post of this series. David often offers diversity of opinion, but in this case he also cited Cynefin. The traditional situation of post-disaster response is one where information is often limited and at times conflicting – not that different to what we currently see in terms of the different views of the future pandemic trajectory.
As David noted, situations like this need to be treated as Complex (or I might suggest even Chaotic) in the Cynefin parlance. More important is the different ways we need to manage in those contexts. “Good” and “Best” are not the practices we need to embrace. The resilience will come from seeking the diversity of Novel and Emergent practices to adopt.
Final point to note from the webinar relates to the way “just in time” has permeated our thinking and logistics processes – and in some cases our approaches to social networking. We have shortened paths to facilitate more efficient flows of both information and resources. These are working against us, and at time even enabling the virus to spread faster.
One interesting challenge to our exit scenario planning may be to consider how we can go about lengthening these paths while still maintaining an adequate flow of the critical information and resources. This can only be achieved as a collaborative process along supply and value chains.
Striking the balance between health and economic factors is an important factor in the “return to work” approaches that are starting to emerge. Clearly some people will be uncomfortable about being in enclosed locations – and in many of the world’s largest cities – commuting on public transport.
We can refer them back to Ben Lee’s exhortation –
And on the subway
We feel like strangers
But we’re all in this together
More on the “new normal office” in the next post.
How are the risk and resilience folks being engaged in the preparedness and planning for the return?
Or is this simply delegated to the relevant facilities and HR operational areas?
Worth noting that Ben Lee had another hit that is not getting as much air play at the moment, but was also a bit prescient – it was called “Catch my Disease”. Something lighthearted and boppy to brighten your day!