ONLINE: Rudi Peeters: Never waste a good crisis

  • Digital People
  • Online
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Visual by Kristof Braekeleire - Visual Harvesting

Is Corona a crisis or the beginning of a transformation?

In order to find a reply on ‘why’ we change and ‘why’ we step into this digital transformation we should go back to nature and the Evolution Theory/Creationism.

In nature certain species (fauna and flora) survive because they have a strong capacity to adapt to the new context. When comparing to business the best reactions (innovations) on a changing context will survive as well. In this respect we talk about ‘selfsteering adaptation’.

Nature also shows how e.g. butterflies adapt genetically and thus survive. Also in business there is a need for good balance in order to survive.

Behavioural adaptation is noticed in animal societies as well as in organisations. Think of specific habits or attitudes (in a company this is traditionally mission, vision,… corporate culture). After a period of time no one can remember where they come from, why and when everybody started this specific behavior.

Besides the fact that scientists consider human beings more like disabled animals there still is a major difference with animals. Humans survive by using their brains… Yes, we have three brains:

  • The reptile brain is used to survive
  • The limbic system lets us react on signals
  • The cortex is typical for humans and looks after the ‘rational’ side or in other words common sense

Changing human behavior

When raising the question: can we change human behavior, can we force change? Sumantra Ghoshal – Prof. Strategic and International Management at LBS – states not to change people but to change the context. (see video here) In general people are not against change but don’t want to change themselves. 

As an example Corona has put a lot of emphasis on homeworking. Most of the companies were not completely ready for this disruption. Not for what concerns the infrastructure and not regarding the collaboration with the colleagues. There are always advantages (more efficiency) and disadvantages (less control). Let’s focus on the positive effects and let them grow. It will bring new insights and innovations. Forget about the negative points…

"If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done"

In fact Corona is a gift, it changed our context. Now what about the post-Corona-era…. Do we dare leaving the comfort-zone, change the context ourselves and disrupt our business. The most important element is the observation of the employees’ behavior and draw nuanced conclusions. 

During the session, it became clear in a poll that 

  1. most of the attendees want to keep working from home (a few days a week) after the crisis. 
  2. a little over 70% considers organizing their next context disruption. 
  3. the mayority will update their BCP, DRP... or do some table top exercise. 

This proves that this crisis caused a lot of people to rethink their way of doing business! 

Poll1 Poll2 Poll 3

Poll results of the session

The recording of the session can be found in the "related" tab.