The Chinese word ‘危机’ meaning ‘crisis’ is made up of two characters: ‘危’ and ‘机’. ‘危’ means danger, but ‘机’ has the meaning of chance and opportunity.
During the past several weeks, most people have done a fine job staying home and flattening the curve. These collective sacrifices avoid the feared worse case scenarios the media enjoyed spreading over the past 2 months. It was reassuring to see business and community leaders spring into action with strong suggestions and guidance to get us safely to this point. The current optimism is enhanced by the conversations now shifting towards reopening business and figuring out our new normal.
While there are no shortage of personal silver linings identified such as slowing down to be in the moment, spending more time with family, and about making our health and personal hygiene a priority. I have personally enjoyed the time at home with family, playing games, cleaning up the yard, the garage, etc. I have also spent plenty of time reflecting on the positives that will benefit our clients and our business. Specifically, our business will have increased resilience and disaster preparedness capabilities based on this pandemic and the ongoing refinements.
The rapid response that was necessary as the Coronavirus fears were spreading more rapidly than the virus itself required us to pressure test our plan in the weeks leading up to Ohio’s stay at home order. We transitioned our team of 12 from the office to remote work, and after the uncomfortable period that’s inevitable when trying anything new, we found our groove collaborating through Slack and Zoom (including virtual happy hours), phone calls, and emails. Our plan is stronger today and ready to respond to future disasters that may not afford us days or weeks of preparation. We might not prefer it, but we can do so many things today that we never knew we needed: We can work remotely, we can homeschool our children, we know how to keep life-sustaining businesses up and running. We’re discovering new ways to stay connected with our families, and even to stay sane.
We’re all in this together. Just as we’re getting used to the sounds of children or pets in the background, our team is working towards returning to the office to discover our new normal. Until then, our team has used this time to sharpen their saw, complete projects, and reflect. While it’s nice to wear sweatpants “to work”, we look forward to continuing to build a healthy team culture of collaboration and trust, necessary to fulfil our passion of serving others.
We hope this is the first and last time a crisis of this magnitude challenges our existence — but if it happens again, we’ll be ready.