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Now, more than ever, we need community

Etai Beck
,
March 16, 2020

No, this is not a post about virtual events, nor about work from home, productivity, or anything like that. It's a post about our business community, solidarity, and helping each other survive and thrive.

Families, tribes, organizations, companies, countries, associations, and religions are all human structures organized around ideas, shared beliefs, and collective stories and visions. Throughout history, we've seen how crises and adversity bring us closer together, fighting a common enemy. While we can debate the urgency and politics around global warming, a fast-spreading virus carries very different realities. 

Every day as the Corona Virus pandemic continues to devolve from bad to worse, businesses and people are realizing the enormity of economic consequences and long term fallout. As humans, our immediate reaction is pause, fear, and to hunker-down. Yet, our collective opportunity and obligation to society demands a very different approach.

There is no playbook for navigating this global pandemic. That said, I believe that adversity brings out the best in the human spirit and helps serve as a trusted roadmap. As vendors, customers, partners, investors, contractors, employers, and employees, we must all acknowledge our existence within one human fabric. In times of crisis, we must embrace a new type of relationship amongst us, one that is not only based on commercial interests, but rather on genuine support and solidarity. 

Yes, you may need to cut costs and adjust your business plan to reflect a new set of assumptions. But if you look closely into the new environment, you will find some silver linings and new opportunities. By embracing your stakeholders as much as possible, and making them trusted partners to your business, you will help everyone not only survive, but also thrive. 

Fear is not an option. It's time to talk, brainstorm,  exchange ideas, and find new solutions. 

  • Customers and Vendors - Vendors can help customers find new ways to save and grow -- they represent more than just a source of income.  In the same way, customers can also reciprocate with their vendors.
  • Employers and Employees - Employees carry the DNA of an organization; they don't just come to work. In hard times, employers represent both home and bedrock. With a strong foundation, both can accomplish anything and build the next floor together. 
  • Investors and Portfolio Companies -  Every portfolio company is comprised of highly motivated and talented teams who collaborate to generate a return on investment. You will be hard-pressed to find another group that will find innovative solutions to navigate the current crisis. When the world is cutting back, now is the time to consider doubling down on them.

Let's stay healthy, focus, inspire one another, and collaborate. Together, we will get through this.