If like me, you wake up every morning and for about ten seconds you have blissfully forgotten what is happening in the world, and then remember with a sinking heart, then you are human.
It has been well documented in recent weeks that if there is a flip side to this turmoil of a Coronavirus-hit planet, it is the reminder of what it is to be human. All too often we have taken our freedoms for granted - interactions, senses, families and communities - but this can no longer be the case. Suddenly, our senses and emotions are heightened and intensified, as we rediscover much of what it truly is to be human, whether we like it or not.
I am, like many others, employed to make an organisation work. I’m in business, and in fact I’m supposed to be a “leader” in that business. Right now, I hope I am doing everything I can to do the right things, however difficult they may be.
Like most businesses we interact with our clients on a daily basis, be they businesses (B2B), or consumers (B2C), and we go about our work managing relationships. Observing the hyper-busy environment we're now dealing with, it might be easy for some to go down the route of managing a database of work streams with a name next to it. Yet, if ever there was a wake-up call to remind us never to think like this again, it is now.
Every day now, I have to think harder about the basics in life; that “Hierarchy of Needs” (Maslow) is suddenly brought right home to us all, when we had all taken it so, so much for granted! I’m lucky in that I’m surrounded by the love of my immediate family who are all social distancing together, but many families are not. They are separated and lonely, scared and afraid.
At our organisation, Impact, we thrive on adventure and the uncertainty of a journey with an indeterminate outcome. This has been the basis for our clients’ most powerful organisational learning experiences. The current situation, albeit involuntary, is as powerful a learning journey that many of us will ever embark upon. This is certainly an adventure for us all and one we will all learn from, but it’s not one any of us willingly or enthusiastically signed up for. This is a true test for everyone, in who we are, what we do, who we love, and for the humanity inside.
For me the important thing, if you are in business, is to stop and remember that whoever you are working with today and tomorrow, regardless of the reason you are interacting with them, are just human. They too are going through a range of emotions they never expected to have to deal with, in circumstances that they never thought they would encounter.
So, if there is something incredibly positive that I have learned in this difficult time it’s that I will never think B to B, or even B to C ever again. It has to be H to H, human to human.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well.
Andy Dickson is Impact's global COVID-19 task force leader and Senior Consultant.