Warren Buffett famously said only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.
The COVID 19 pandemic is akin to the tide receding. Organisations with weaknesses will be exposed. Now is the time to make those changes you’ve always wanted to make because now it is urgent. It is also a good time to persuade others to accept changes because of the urgency.
Times of hardship are often times to effect change, real change, disruptive change, not just small improvements.
For example, after World War 2 the Australian Government realised that for recovery Australia needed a much bigger population, and that more migrants from the British Isles would not be enough. So they opened immigration up to the southern Europeans. We also moved on from our agrarian past and built a thriving manufacturing and scientific economy.
Right now, two of the big national issues are taxation reform and labour relations. It remains to be seen if our nation can use these hard times to agree on the big changes.
Alexander Downer recently wrote that this current pandemic period may be the equivalent of the phoney war of 1939, that pleasant English summer before the bombs fell and people started dying. If he is right and this is our phoney war, a period of relative stability before much tougher economic times arrive, we should urgently prepare for the future. If the economy is going to become a lot more testing, now is the time to prepare while we have the runway to do something about it, to make the bold disruptive changes, to implement game changing technology and abandon long hallowed but inefficient practices.
- Have your departments reviewed their internal processes lately?
- Are you still relying heavily on paper and physical documents?
- Have you given thought to where you work vs how you work?
I don’t see much downside to investing in a new pair of bathers right now, it might be a good insurance policy.