“The comfort zone is the dead zone,” states Mike Manes, a business consultant in New Iberia, Louisiana. If we’ve learned anything so far this year, it’s that an unseen — but deadly — force kicked us out of our comfort zone — way out!
Although the pressure is on to put the coronavirus behind us and get businesses up-and-running, it would be a mistake not to learn from this horrendous experience.
Here are some takeaways for business.
1. We’ve found that going it alone is an illusion
Almost instantly earlier this year, everyone became sensitized to those around us, perhaps like never before. At our condo community, for example, there was concern for neighbors we didn’t even know. We were keeping tabs on one another. We went from being individuals living under a common roof to being members of a community.
Yes, there were outliers. One demanded that the pool be opened because it was why she bought here. But something good happened. Most the voices quieted down and we discovered we are not just an accumulation of individuals. We not only had an investment in a property, we had one in each other.
2. We’re more creative than we thought possible
If there’s anything we need to put behind us, it’s all the talk about the “New Normal.” It’s nonsense. Just a few months ago, the nation’s offices emptied almost overnight and millions were work-from-home and haven’t missed a beat. The crisis unleashed their creativity. Now many say they aren’t sure they want to go back to the “Old Normal,” including their bosses.
An equally impressive example of creativity occurred a few months ago, when the governor of Ohio, wanting young people to stay at home and practice social distancing, turned to Ohio-based Procter & Gamble for help.
Almost instantly #DistanceDance, featuring an original dance by Charli D’Amelio, went viral with its stay at home/stay safe message and reaching 17 billion or more views, spawning the posting videos by the millions and setting off a world-wide phenomenon.
To say the least, the governor got far more than he expected. It shows what happens when we turn on our creative juices.