This is a New Zealand based view but pertinent to everywhere. Bubble means the people with whom we are in lockdown. (3 minute read)
Taking a 20,000 foot view, without a vaccine and being unsure how herd immunity is going to work (I’m not advocating it), the containment and control of COVID-19 requires the prevention of uncontrolled human gathering. Outside of tourism which will be by default a much changed industry, the obvious business types under threat include:
· Retail – high-street or mall based
· Food & beverage – pubs, restaurants etc.
· Entertainment (including sports and gyms)
· Transport – public and mass transport including business related travel
All of these things will return but I suggest they will be significantly altered. I disagree with the idea that people will readily go back to freely mixing with people outside of their bubbles. While we find this new equilibrium, opportunities will open up, including (a familiar list):
· Retail – postal and courier
· Food & beverage – pre-prepared, food bags etc. & agriculture and horticulture
· Entertainment – on-line and multimedia
· Transport – good and deliveries
Conservatism is our enemy
This is not a political statement, conservatives like to ‘conserve’; to keep things the same. We need to embrace both radical Socialism and Capitalism. We need both and we are already seeing both. Governments committing figures like 10% of GDP is beyond unprecedented and we are already seeing businesses adapting and surprizing themselves at how well they are working.
‘Tilt’ or ‘Pivot’
The entrepreneurial world is used to this, it’s called a ‘tilt’ or ‘pivot’. I’m not an economist, my expertise includes psychology and as I explained in my last article, one of the unique things I do is help business people to have anxiety https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-help-business-people-have-anxiety-paul-king/ . I do this because I offer a safe way for them to experience this highly creative attuned state in safety.
The anxiety of business leaders and Government can save us, so long as they don’t try to stamp ‘normality’ on us or, panic.
There will be causalities. Not every person will be able maintain their business or their job. Not all of them will be suitable for what we emerge into. However, there are tilts to be had at a personal and business level.
· Can high-street and retail workers can be absorbed into new and growing online production and delivery businesses?
· Can tourism workers do agricultural, horticultural, transport and delivery work?
· Can Chefs work in industrial kitchens, catering services dedicated large businesses?
· Can personal trainers and gym staff provide on-line personal and corporate services
· Can entertainers make nominal charges to reach massive audiences?
· Can public transport facilities and staff can be switched to delivery and goods
· Can mall and high-street space can be used as goods and delivery hubs?
A brave new world?
Good Governments are protecting their populations, their medical services, supporting the wages for people that need it and guaranteeing loans for businesses… and more. Those people, businesses and Governments that have not overstretched themselves will get through all this in good shape. They have been prudent and not overly greedy. There’s a long time to pay this off – the UK only recently paid off its war debts the USA! Some others may learn a lesson.
I strongly suggest that we of the 1st world must learn to use our innate anxiety and forced re-connection productively. Our former ‘normal’ was massively distorted. Our selfishness and docile complicity are being shown to us, right now, acutely. Our way of life and unthinking abuse of our resources has led us to this. We are in a time a heightened anxiety and that’s good, we should be!
Experiencing caused existential anxiety is what makes us inventive, sharp of thought, cautious and active at the same time. We must not expect ‘normal’ to return and we should mistrust anyone that tries to make it that way. We need to learn from this and take this opportunity to shake ourselves awake. It is not OK to blunder into the destruction of our planet in so very many ways just because we ‘like’ some things. I hope we learn to choose contentiously rather than just consume, there is nowhere else to dump our rubbish, we have to live in it.
Having said all this, I am strangely calm and optimistic. We can emerge (and I hope I’m included) in good shape, if we choose to.
Paul A. King BHSc(Hons), BSc, GCertBHSc, MNZPsS
I am a coach on the Massey University Master of Applied Leadership (MALP) and EMBA programmes and also run three connected businesses. I am a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society and American Psychological Association. My psychological training is in counselling psychology and addictions and I’m currently working on a Masters research project (MPhil) in business psychology looking at the lived experience of senior business people. I am also an Authorised Financial Adviser.
I am available for corporate engagements working alongside leaders, executives and senior managers. I also provide one-to-one confidential, non-reporting, non-EAP emotional and psychological guidance privately and, so long as confidentiality is never compromised, via company or partnership sponsorship. At this time of course zoom calls and conferences too. Please contact me via:
https://csuitepsych.com – one-to-one psychological and emotional guidance, coaching and support for c-suite executives, directors, senior managers & partners
https://wealthcounselling.com – high earners, wealthy families, business sales or reorganization, sudden wealth
https://auckland.financial – Authorised Financial Adviser to high earners and business owners