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Keep the conversations going

Updated: May 4, 2020

We're in a tough and unpredictable new world. And over the past week, I've yet again realised the value of conversation - just talking to people. I found out a great deal and got introduced to new perspectives. Even brief conversations can be generative, ie create a new way of seeing the world or being. I'm also mindful of one statement in a listening assessment we use: I learn something new from everyone I meet, even if it's ever so slight.

So last week I talked with Hugh Cowan, formerly at GeoNet and EQC. He send me papers about business recovery written after the Canterbury earthquakes. Here's the link to the one I found most useful:

The paper, Business Recovery from Disaster : a research update for practitioners has 10 recommendations for businesses to get through and recover from our latest disaster: Covid-19. Having said that the authors know that no one size fits all.

Here goes with the ten.

1. Take care of your staff.

2. Look after your leaders.

3. There is no such thing as too much communication.

4. No organisation is an island - communicate with customers and suppliers.

5. Collaborate for success: work with your old friends and make new ones.

6. Recover for a new environment: you won't go back to the same world you operated in previously.

7. Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.

8. Insurance is a paradox - it doesn't eliminate risk.

9. Engage staff - how your staff feel is the way they'll treat customers.

10. Plan and prepare to adapt: resilience is 50% planning and 50% agility.

My second conversation was with Katy Miller, a Vic. Uni. manager. Had I seen the film The Martian? No I hadn't. So that was my Saturday night viewing. Yes of course it's Hollywood, with the usual dose of heroics, courageous institutional rule-breaking, overly-smart dialogue etc. But it's about how to adapt in completely new situations. How do you survive on Mars when you've been left behind for dead? Apparently you grow potatoes using your own human excrement as fertiliser. And plans to rescue the poor chap go wrong, etc etc, but eventually come off. I'm not saying it's a must see, but it gave some useful perspectives.

This coming week I'll follow the same mantra: keep the conversations going. Who knows what I'll learn.


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