A while ago – June 2017 to be precise – I wrote a piece about my life learnings where I visited memory lane and reviewed my previous +7 years in Brazil.
Today, almost three years later, I sit down to ponder again and to reflect on the new reality that has taken the world by storm, some accomplishments and the new routine that has brought uncertainty and many questions about the future.
Back in 2015 – some may remember an interesting Ted Talk given by a famous businessman, where he told us about a Virus. However, a few months ago, while everybody was celebrating Xmas of 2019, we started to hear in the news about some asian virus that was affecting Wuhan in China.
Dormant in our naïveté, breathing the air that we felt it was a given thing, and feeling calm while strolling by the days in our streets, we could never have been less worried about what it was to come.
On a personal level, changes were arising since end of last year, when a possibility to change home address, leaving a great team behind, it was pointing from Brazil towards Europe (Barcelona or Madrid) but somehow it got delayed until March 15th, when it fructified. Destination was still Europe, but it had a more Portuguese flavor, we headed to Lisbon.
We went from Sao Paulo – the routine of social hugs, the smiles, the openness of the people – to the confinement, the social distancing, the masks, the elearning and the everyday-video-conferencing at the advent of Spring in Lisbon, a place that promised social life, restaurants, walks, scenery and an interesting culture to learn.
During these last 35 days, I have seen enough (not) cases, data, to understand that the digital transformation is imperative. If there were companies that flirted with the idea, they should marry it now; the companies were still reticent to that idea, they should act fast, because they have a ticking bomb on the tails; the companies who already had thought of it and acted on it years ago, this wave is just a hick-up with the world around them chocking, and for the ones that have just acted on it, very likely will understand the gains it has although they may feel the thrill of the possibilities and perhaps wonder why they had not done it earlier.
I hear consistently from colleagues, partners and friends that we will get out of this stronger, and readier to face situations like this COVID19 in the future. My 2 cents are that not only will we be stronger, but actually faster, more productive and more efficient in the use of company resources.
Questions for companies to answer will be:
1. Why travel and spend as much knowing what we know today?
2. Why having our current office space when WFH can be also productive and effective?
3. How healthcare and other employee unemployment insurance plans will be defined?
4. How labor laws will impact the definition of contracts for the future?
5. Will employee benefits include clauses to better deal with such potential scenarios?
On the other hand, I wonder about the “Sharing Economy” models.
Perhaps questions for them could be:
1. How will ride sharing companies guarantee hygiene in all its rides?
2. How CoWorking will make sure the flow of tenants and other visitors are clean?
3. How delivery companies can maintain excellence in all process making sure drivers and cooks are clean when preparing and delivering the food?
And even more, how will the entertainment (cinema, theater, concerts, etc) world will adapt to this new standard? Or restaurants, bars?
If business-doing will be affected by many new initiatives and as consequence it will reduce the physical contact, I also wonder about the future of developing chemistry in between partners-companies, contacts? Which will be the protocol or etiquette; which will be the periodic Chart of Business-Chemistry elements?
All said, it seems that stress, uncertainty and many other uncomfortable situations are and will be chasing us for a while.
I see there are recipes that we can brew and cook to help us navigate these scenarios. Recently I achieved the 1000 meditation sessions that re-started back at the beginning of 2017 (so over 3 years now) that I had dived into back in 1998.
Somehow it came back to me when in need and it has given me peace, home, and daily calm. I truly believe that societies will need to grow in spiritual learnings, from within, to be used when dealing with others, developing compassion, empathy, kindness, remembering to be kind (#RTBK).
The latter has grown inside myself a new space within my heart; it has given me a new pair of glasses that helps me when looking at others, whether people or animals, family or friends, and first and foremost, myself. If you can be kind to yourself, you have reached the first step to be kind to others.
If I look back in the past decade, I arrived in Brazil when the world was crashing back in 2009, uncertainty, chaos, lots of volatility and bubbles exploding. I want to piggy bag on “I would like to shed some light on the importance of “focus” in Brazil, preceded by the fundamentals of “choice”.
The Covid19 has already taken lives and re-formatted the reality that we were used to live in. This created a huge impact (negative & positive).
There is a number of choices we can make, things we have control over; stay focus, do what you can, pay attention to what matters to you – family, friends, job if you have one –
essentially, act on what you can and stay calm, cook, laugh, exercise when / where you can, write your thoughts and feelings – those things have helped me during these +35 days. It helps little to stress, to desire that governments go back on their measures, and temporary laws.
Good luck and stay safe!