Choose your own news
What you believe about the current crisis depends to a large extent on what you choose to read and not to read, and then how you choose to interpret it or feel about it. You heard me; I believe we can choose what to feel about events.
Proof of this is the fact that I do not recognise that some people’s bad behaviour under pressure is somehow representative of what the wider population is up to. What I actually see is countless examples of thoughtful, generous and cheerful words and acts. In France, there are many stories of citizens standing aside in supermarkets to let older people and essential workers through.
In the UK, we are seeing an explosion in creativity which tells me that, when there is no crisis, we are just too damn busy to slow down for long enough to think about new ways to tackle old problems, so we fall back on old ways. Now, we are seeing not just an obvious rise in remote communications through VOIP-based apps and WhatsApp group, but a growth in podcasts and webinars in the face of an almost empty event calendar.
There is some irony to this which is that, for many, events are not a great way to generate sales leads, but there is no less thirst for company and human contact, so we should recognise the soft but essential appeal of events rather than simply their lead generating value.
I choose also to focus on the value of colleagues. It’s ironic that the more we are separated physically, the more I see in them. This may in part be down to the number of children/dogs/spin driers/LED strips on show but it is clear that we are all raising our game to communicate through face thumbnails.
And colleagues from our client companies as well, all tackling the crisis cheerfully and creatively, such as their willingness to embrace new ways to say things. I don’t think the IT industry is quite yet done with using its own language to hide what it really means, but I do detect a change. And that’s all driven by the pressure to communicate not exactly person to person, or via email and LinkedIn but face to face via VOIP. For all its apparent intimacy, teleconferencing requires greater clarity of expression in discussing and agreeing what need to be done.
Plenty of people can’t work because the crisis has taken way their entire business. We on the other hand can and will continue to be helpful where we can by injecting a few new ideas into the mix.
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