Business Learnings From The COVID-19 Pandemic
There's just so much ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 24/06/2020 @ 8:00AM
Such a lot to learn from this pandemic; enough to keep the social scientists in PhD material for the foreseeable future. And for us all at the coal face, we’ve been learning how to work remotely from home ...
There's a lot to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic!
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This has meant juggling home-schooling our children whilst attending an online business meeting using unfamiliar technology. There are loads of blog posts to be written around on that subject, but what I wanted to address was the discovery that a familiar drug Dexamethasone (it's been around since 1957) has been found to have significant results in treating the sickest patients!
"Dexamethasone is not an actual cure for COVID-19!"
However, it can save the lives of 1 in 3 people on ventilators and 1 in 5 with significant breathing difficulties. Yet, if given earlier in treatment, it has no effect at all. Why would that be? Because it acts on COVID-19 as it has always been known to act, by dampening the immune response.
The reason people die of COVID-19 is when they have a massive overwhelming immune response that damages their own tissue. Reduce the overwhelm and the body can fight off the virus (for any medic reading this, I know I've simplified it, but this is a business blog post, not a scientific paper, forgive me). As an added bonus, it's as cheap as chips and plentiful so should be available to all who need it.
Fortunately, for most of us, we're not facing a rush to save lives from a disease we know very little about. However, we can take learnings from this extensive survey and the success that came from it then apply it to our own apparently intractable problems. After all, even if we don't solve it completely, would a 30% improvement be welcome? I suspect so.
Here's my take on what we can apply to our own circumstances:
Take a look in the cupboard at what you've already got available
This is the big one for me. We can be seduced into thinking that some magic quick fix is just around the corner. Often we can make quick wins by just applying what we already know.
We may not have used it for this problem before, but maybe something similar? It may not be the ultimate answer, but if by treating the symptoms we make a 30% improvement that's a step in the right direction. Something build on.
Do the research and be open to the possibilities
Of course, we're unlikely to do a full-on piece of scientific research with controls and comparing one treatment with another, but do make a long list of possible solutions. Do a reality check around what is working and be prepared to change direction as the data shows you need to.
Here's where others with similar experiences can really help. They can challenge your perceptions as well as offer different solutions. Imagine if the doctors who had tried Dexamethasone weren't asked to contribute to the long list of drugs in this study?
Timing can make a difference
This is the fascinating aspect of this trial. You can apply it too early and not dampen the immune response and the patient does not improve. Now, no-one suggesting that we wait to be overwhelmed, but when it occurs it's good to have something to counter it.
The learnings I got from all this was more of a reminder to pick your moments to apply interventions. I leave you with Jon Gordon's excellent quote, "You haven't failed until you stop trying!"
What are your business learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Until next time ...
About Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!
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