The need for out of the box thinking is bigger than ever

The need for out of the box thinking is bigger than ever

Please people… can we just try to stay calm? I have witnessed people acting like it is the apocalypse upon us. And I don’t only mean people I have never met, but some of them being in my own circle as well.

As if it is not bad enough already… however panicking and irrational behavior instead of common sense is really not the answer! Everyone is being impacted in their business and social life. Some more and maybe different than others. In my opinion sheer negativity will only make things worse. 

Probably most of you can understand or have experienced that being the owner of a small business can – without the impact of the Coronavirus – already be a challenge from time to time, especially when you have not been running your own business for many years. Based on the current developments around Covid-19, the latest measures being taken to safeguard public health are fully understandable and I do share the general opinion that we should not take unnecessary risks. Overreacting or panicking is not the answer and will for sure cause an even stronger negative impact.

We all have health fears and concerns about care for the elderly, the infants and the ones with a low immune system. Being an expatriate living and working in Dubai, I am surrounded by other expatriates with often – just like me – most of their family and old friends living in another country, usually many miles from here. I do hear and feel for those who are worried about the health of their parents and of other loved ones, not being able to visit them. Being worried is a natural reaction and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as we don’t let worries and fear get the upper hand. We still have our businesses to run, families to take care of and above all we should not lose our own sanity!

Coronavirus is hugely impacting the stock markets, as investors are realizing the economic consequences. Amongst the hardest hit sectors are airlines, leasure and hospitality, and small businesses are being affected as much as the bigger companies. Every day we receive the latest updates, hearing and reading about how countries are trying to stop further spread of the virus.

To be honest I too am feeling the full impact of the situation with business meetings being cancelled, new contacts not too eager to meet and talk about opportunities, networking events being postponed until further notice, and so on. And yes, last week was not my most productive week and I did have more than a few negative thoughts. But what do I achieve with that? Absolutely nothing!

Let’s face it… there is certainly a disruption to the way we are used to work, to the way we have always dealt with situations. Many people have already made the move from the office to the kitchen table. Even without Covid-19 we are already dealing with constant change and the need to be agile, to adapt quickly.

Times like these are asking for adaptivity and flexibility by means of out of the box thinking, creative solutions and new business models. Companies should have their business continuity plans in place, adapt their business processes and operations to the new situation, know how to cope with disruption of supplies and be prepared for widespread sick leave taken by their employees.

One of my latest initiatives is to pull together an online think tank of likeminded professionals who own a small business in the UAE, or are freelancers or those who are willing to contribute with their knowledge and experience. My idea is to tap into each other’s creativity, to support and inspire each other during this challenging period. Ultimate goal is determining how we can realize a collaborative approach by potentially bundling our strengths & services. 

Do contact me if you are interested to make a difference together!

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