We have been given a rare gift, though we may not perceive it as such. The coronavirus gives us the opportunity to change the way we do business and, more importantly, to re-introduce humanity into business.
We speak of sustainability. But what does sustainability truly include; the proper use (and re-use) and respect of all our known and to-be-discovered resources. This is not only environmental management, it is also people management; aligning our business models to truly reward people and ensure everyone gets to share in that sustainable prosperity.
This phenomenon spurs us on to realign our business models and improve on our existing social structure.
Yes, it has resulted in ongoing navel-gazing. It makes all of us face our own understanding of mortality. For those of us who have been very successful at working the existing system, it is a highly scary proposition because what we know has changed, and will change. It does not have to be this way. On a global scale, we can now reframe our society and business model for the better. Without such a phenomenon, we would never have considered doing so.
To me, this is an opportunity we have all been looking for. Yes, we can argue that doing business is delivering demand at a profit. Should we not redefine demand as meeting sustainable justice at the right margin? Sustainable justice can encompass any social, environmental, humane, emotional etc. aspects we hold in regard.
Right now, with our ingenuity and creativity, we are teaching ourselves and embedding better sustainable values:
1. We are learning to communicate better.
2. The flexible model of working from home is now being tested and will truly be refined. In time, we will get better productivity and work life balance.
3. Supply chains will become truly flexible and continuous (maybe not at the lowest cost but at the “total lowest cost”) by truly considering elements such as supply security, risk management, and human cost.
4. New business models will arise out of this.
5. Governments may realise what their true role should be, that of not only a facilitator, but an active one.
6. We as humans will understand what is essential and what is not.
I call on all business owners, investors, managers, employees and people to look up, look forward. Let us build a better sustainable business society that we can all be proud of.
I know I will!