Updated: Apr 19
Recently I introduced Agile Alignment - a new visual thinking methodology for remote team leaders to quickly capture and communicate their mission-critical strategies in the current CO19 storm. Here is also an updated WSJ article on Amazon setting up a lab to test all of its employees for CO19.
In working with several clients on how to effectively delegate, improve team productivity, and mitigate risk (by stopping misalignment from happening), we’ve uncovered several new perspectives:
CO19 is THE impetus to rethink, reimagine, and reinvent your business model. For specific sectors, such as travel, restaurants, entertainment venues, non-essential manufacturing, and even professional services, it’s more than a luxury; it’s a necessity to survive.
Even with a bio solution (vaccine, treatment, pharma cure), I believe our psyche will prevent us from gravitating toward certain business models where physical proximity is required. I traveled 208 days last year for various speaking, consulting, coaching, and executive education programs. Yet, yesterday at the local grocery store, I felt real angst with others around me and was unusually aware of my physical space. Not sure who’s going to blow the “all clear to jump back in the pool” whistle, so I’m uncertain as to when or how we’ll feel like congregating again.
Beyond lives, another incredibly difficult decision for every leader is our livelihoods. We have to find ways to get people back to work to contribute to our global economic output. I spoke with one executive who, due to a massive digital transformation initiative, is still going into his office. He looked out his window the other day and could see ten cars in a building that usually hosts 2,000+ employees daily! I’m unsure of how this scenario is sustainable without a deep economic recession, if not a depression.
As such, here is an Agile Alignment example focused on Facility Health Safety – we must help our employees feel safe, secure, and protected in environments where we expect them to work. Creating and sustaining a physically healthy work environment is not optional for employers with physical spaces, and it must become the new norm post-CO19, similarly to how we adapted to tighter security measures post 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Here are our systems thinking approach to an employee’s journey:
1. A health tent at the entrance of the building quickly tests the health of each employee. If you’re sick or are carrying the virus and show no signs of illness, you’re going home and using contact tracing and daily check-ins, we gauge your recovery. If you’re healthy, you can proceed to the parking lot.
2. We no longer need lobby spaces. Instead, let’s create an airlock entrance where every employee is sanitized using various measures including, UV light.
3. Wearable technology can track our core body temps and vital signs throughout the day, and a dashboard can alert the newly elevated wellness function of any anomalies. Contact tracing through the facility becomes the new norm. A new wearable tech app also alerts you once someone else is within 6 feet to ensure physical distancing at all times.
4. We further deploy HealthTech throughout the facility, including autonomous robots regularly cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing hallways, byways, restrooms, and heavily trafficked areas – think an industrial iRobot Roomba®. No more knobs and handles – hands-free entrance and motion-detection to minimize physical contacts. Similar to fire sprinklers, sensors sanitize our workspaces throughout the day.
5. We move our workspaces, eating facilities, conference room chairs, and all physical gathering spaces at least 6 feet apart to give everyone ample space to move freely. Again, the wearable tech app will alert each individual of their new physical space.
Everyone leaves through the airlock for sanitizing procedures as they leave each day as well.
Some of these ideas are easier and less capital intensive to implement now. Others will require new tech or evolution of our existing tech to get us there. Any way you look at it, the post-CO19 new norm cannot resemble where we’ve been. Otherwise, we risk a profound inability to learn and adapt from our woeful unpreparedness in this pandemic.
Lastly, I’d submit this adaptation is not a choice. Many brilliant health professionals believe that CO19 will peak in June. Although it may subside in July and August due to the summer heat, get ready for round two in the fall/winter as cold and flu season returns. And with the current pace our healthcare heroes are working and the many elective procedures we’re postponing, at what point do they become essential, and we face round three?
I hope I’m wrong.
Let me know your thoughts?