The following Article appeared in the Northern Advocate on Wed 15 April 2020. Unfortunately it is behind a paywall. Click here
While we praise the efforts of Northland Inc, ‘collaboration key after lockdown’ (Northern Advocate, 15 April 2020), things have changed dramatically both commercially and economically. Posting a whole lot of links without connecting on a human level with the business owner in a crisis is counterproductive for healing. If you’re in the caring industry you are working on results with the client as opposed to gathering data on the number of phone calls you have received – 200 phone calls was an example given in this article. It can take some time, around 2 to 3 months before anyone traumatised by their business crisis situation will touch base. Our concern is that business owners are being asked to return to business advisors – who will be offering the same advice that they did before the lockdown. This will have a negative effect unless they have indepth knowledge of a range of industries and more importantly hands-on experience in business loss and the impact on mental health.
Business Crisis Support NZ is putting together a package for a new Northland Economy based on our frontline experience working with business owners in intensely traumatic business crisis situations throughout New Zealand including Northland.
We propose new governance and management structures be applied, including new business models, if any, to work from. The new Northlad economony will have a number of businesses allocated to it. There will also be changes to the information business owners will be given in an advisory and consulting capacity to address the impact of the lockdown.
The frustrating part is that the wider commercial business community want to apply the wrong set of rules. The difference between commercial enterprise and community enterprise is that commercial enterprise seeks to greatly benefit a few people whereas community enterprise seeks to modestly benefit a lot of people. The missing piece of understanding in the commercial world is that there is no commercial world until there is a community to build business within. We also want to encourage other organisations and individuals to follow our lead and create a new Northland economy by introducing new initiatives and getting the community behind those initiatives. That way a whole range of options and opportunities will be open for all. Business has changed since the lockdown and nothing is the same any more. We are not even going to say our proposal is the right one, but it offers another option more fitting post-lockdown.
(We acknowledge Allan Cooney (CEO Belyanna Consulting) for some of his advice featured in this article. Particularly the point about where wrong sets of rules are applied. We don’t need more of the same, we need change).