Who will shine right now? Responding as a business and as a human being

by | Mar 19, 2020 | Business planning, Corporate culture, Humanistic Marketing

I am impressed with so many businesses in the last two weeks, in their response to COVID-19 to keep things moving and to support clients and customers in their health. From major training and membership organisations rolling out in-depth health and safety programs and online alternatives, to small businesses being creative, flexible… and spreading hope.

This week I walked past the florist in Brookfield Place where there was a reminder to send flowers to the person you know who is struggling to work from home… and a real estate agency with a sign out the front saying, ‘Stars can’t shine without darkness!’

It’s interesting to watch people’s varied reactions in the supermarket – people loudly complaining about others’ behaviour… or filming other people who are anxiously waiting in line… strangers nervously laughing together about the craziness of it all… or those trying to be kind to people who are less fortunate. 

Turning into a narrow intersection on the road yesterday, another driver went out of their way to back their car up to let me pass… and as I drove past, thanking the driver with a wave, I heard the driver of another car yelling at the one in front to hurry up. A stark contrast, and I felt pretty grateful that my exchange was the positive one.

A range of reactions, all perfectly natural when every one of us is dealing with some level of fear about what might happen next.

I am also hearing the occasional, ‘What’s the big deal?’ or ‘I won’t get sick!’, and I’ve witnessed the odd business owner say that they don’t need to change anything about how they do business. None of us know what will happen next, but for me personally, I think that the businesses and people who are responding proactively by making some changes are the ones who will ride out these challenging times and possibly even thrive throughout.

While the threats to life, livelihood, business and the economy are real, it’s important to be a light for others and for yourself in the darkest times. It’s that – or panic and try to hide from what is happening.

To me, trying to act as a light in dark times is on a human level about kindness and mindfulness, and on a business level about creative problem-solving, connection (even with social distancing!), and positive leadership.

Walking past an encouraging shop sign or experiencing a kind smile from a stranger are experiences that shine very brightly and mean more than ever right now. So let’s all try to be part of the solution because as they say:

If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem!

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