It’s been a while since I’ve posted on our blog. I’ve been trying to think of an interesting topic to talk about and then, low and behold, one pops up and takes over the world. Covid 19. Coronavirus. Whatever title you care to give it, the situation we all face at the moment has seeped into every facet of life. Family. Business. Travel. Employment. Anything you can think of and it’s here to stay. This is not something that’s going to go away in the foreseeable future and may well be with us, in some shape or form, for ever. The question now is how do we, as business professionals, respond to it?
As with all crises, there are two basic answers.
You can put your head in your hands, cry ‘We’re all doomed’ (done in the voice of Private Frasier from Dad’s Army would lend feeling to it) or you can find a way round/through/over it. I’ve always been in favour of the latter solution. Not for my own benefit particularly but I believe I have a duty to look after the well-being of the people who work for me. To ensure they have jobs into the future and preserve a company that is 120 years old this year. That’s a lot of history and it deserves maintaining.
Now I don’t want to make light of the situation. For a lot of businesses, small and large, the current pandemic may well be terminal. In the foundry industry in the UK I think it’s fair to say that it has already closed some foundries or maybe hastened the inevitable. For anyone involved in that scenario, it’s a difficult time.
For those of us who can work through it, I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. The world will return to some form of normal although I don’t think anyone really knows what that normal will quite be. It may very well be different to the previous normal. For example, do we really need to fly reps around the world when modern technology allows you to have face to face meetings from the comfort of your desk and any documents or drawings you need can be shared electronically. Just think of all the time that will be saved if your representatives aren’t spending vast amounts of their time sat in traffic jams or waiting to board an aircraft.
As you might expect, the effect of the virus has been up front in most of the conversations I’ve had with people recently and, when I’m asked how it’s effecting us, I’ve got to saying the following quite a bit.
‘As a limited company, we’re 120 years old this year. We’ve traded through two world wars, the Great Depression, the crash of 2008, Spanish flu in the 1920’s, the contraction of the steel industry in Sheffield in the 1970’s, the three day week, the miner’s strike, power cuts and any other international or national problem that’s been chucked at us. Some random bug from China ain’t going to close us. Sure, this year will be challenging but we’ll come through it.’
Finally and in keeping with blog tradition, what musical reference might I use for this post? After a lot of Google searching, this one sprang out. Listen to the lyrics. You can see it on YouTube here. D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better. Quite uplifting.
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