The coronavirus has forced us into a long quarantine. A sudden change of habits, not at all easy to accept. “Out of the blue our ordinary habits have become wonderful and extraordinary. Funny that normal becomes extraordinary.” (Ilaria Capua, virologist) However, it must be said that this setback has also taught us some things. Here are the ones I learned:
- I have had more time for family, for reading and for thinking. Then, through webinars – both held and attended – I also had the opportunity to meet new people.
- I learned how to manage a webinar. I was a speaker at 16 webinars: I didn’t earn anything, but I got visibility and learned a new way of working. I even wrote a post on the subject. Then, in late April, a Sicilian entrepreneur called and I made my first remote consultation. Thanks to the company Camena Marmi for placing their trust in me!
- I understand that e-commerce is an unstoppable phenomenon, not only in B2C but also in B2B. As Sylvie Kauffman wrote a few days ago in Le Monde “…The US technology giants will be strengthened even more, so much so that in the end they will be among the big winners in this crisis…”
- I understand that a global production system that is too dependent on China presents many risks. And I’m not just thinking about the lack of surgical masks. It is never a good idea to have a single supplier.
- I used the car less. An insurer friend told me that in half a day he did the same amount of work he previously did in a full day. By using email, the phone and video calls, it saved time, money and polluted less.
I think many of us have learned something new, but I fear that when we return to normal we will dive headlong back into our old habits, and the lessons learned during the quarantine will be forgotten. Instead, it would be time – as someone said – that in our companies the P of profit be multiplied by 3: People, Planet, Profit.
Obviously I can’t forget that for many small and medium-sized enterprises the quarantine will have a heavy impact on turnover and business continuity. I believe that as the virus has been harder on the weaker population, so it will be in the realm of production and sales. The companies that are already weaker will be those most exposed to the negative effects of this long quarantine. They should be helped immediately, with economic-financial “oxygen”. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet found a vaccine against bureaucracy.