Thinking That Transforms
“Christ…!”. This was Prime Minister Johnson’s reported reaction to being informed over the weekend that 3.5 million jobs were at risk in the hospitality sector if Britain failed to reopen for the summer. In this moment, Johnson probably recognised a stark reality – the number of unemployed people within the hospitality sector could be double the entire economy’s unemployment figure for 2017. In the face of this kind of extreme economic strain, the media and public have intensified their scrutiny of the government’s plans to get people back to work and revive the economy.
As we cross the 50-day mark since COVID-19, it has become abundantly clear that tracking public sentiment towards the pandemic is far from simple. Sketched on a chart, it looks like an unpredictable roller-coaster, and yet - could there be some value in understanding the measure a little better?
As a strategist and researcher, I have long been fascinated by how values influence human behavior. They guide our thinking and actions, and relationships, and how we see ourselves in the world. They also tend not to waver, taking years to change in meaningful ways.
As the world slowly emerges into the next phase of life with COVID-19 pandemic, many will feel a sense of relief and freedom. There may be a sigh of relief that we are moving forward and that we are alright – the worst is over. But the truth is, we will all be impacted by the reality of a new way of life as we watch and wait to learn what the Fall might bring.
Today is supposed to be Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day in North America. The concept is to connect what children learn at school with the working world in an effort to enable them to discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life. For many of us, this year, Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day has evolved into Take Your Work to Your Daughters and Sons MONTH -- working at our kitchen tables with babies grabbing at our keyboards and preschoolers building Lego structures under our chairs.
Last August, 181 CEOs signed the Business Roundtable’s updated “Purpose of a Corporation” statement, committing to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.
Eight months later, amidst one of the world’s worst pandemics, this commitment is experiencing a radical pressure test.