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Optimum Talks Blog

Some Light in the Darkness

by Kim Hirsch

When I started maternity leave last year, I could not have imagined coming back to a role, business, economy, and world that has been fundamentally transformed by a virus in a matter of months. The thought of a global pandemic seemed possible only in the movies and the term physical distancing was not part of our daily language as we freely gathered with family and friends, and came into our workplace each morning with a hot coffee of our choosing in hand. Now, the opposite of all this is our reality. Unprecedented, scary, uncertainty, and isolating are words that I hear constantly throughout the day. But I didn’t set out to write a negative post – we’re all up to date on the current situation. Instead, I want to look with a positive lens at all the great things I see happening by individuals, leaders, and businesses alike.

Innovation – Drastic times call for drastic measures. The ability of companies to pivot their strategic approach in a matter of hours or days has been incredible to watch. Rather than wait out the storm and suffer the long-term consequences, businesses are rapidly shifting gears to ensure the sustainability of their organization (with many of them also helping the cause at the same time). Not only that, but these swift changes have also forced leaders to think on their toes and produce ideas and technologies that may otherwise not have happened so quickly, if at all. Here are some examples:

Skill Development – Despite the current challenges of working remotely in such a turbulent time (including a lack of access to your usual tools and technology, feeling isolated, and distractions at home), you must also consider the skills that are being developed by your team that will benefit your organization long-term. Here are a few examples:

  • Being forced to navigate new ways of working in a stressful and unknown situation while remaining calm and strategic helps build the highly sought-after trait of resilience
  • The pressing necessity to keep employees engaged, foster collaboration and meet client needs in new ways is enhancing your team’s critical communication skills
  • With events and scenarios constantly evolving, individuals are forced to approach problems and projects in new ways, which helps bolster creativity skills.

Philanthropy – In times of uncertainty you can be pessimistic or optimistic. You can hinder or you can help. And despite the stress of the pandemic, many businesses are choosing the ladder. There are several current good news stories about organizations across many industries stepping up and using their resources to help in any way possible. Here are some examples:

Undoubtedly, times are tough and as difficult as it can be to find a silver lining, I challenge everyone to do so. There is light in the darkness and when this is over, we can look back and see that in many ways the pandemic has made us stronger, individually, and collectively.

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