4 April, 2020
It’s often said that in dark times, we show our true colours. And this is certainly true of the past few weeks.
Coronavirus has proved a litmus test for many of the biggest issues affecting business today – from Amazon’s failure to protect the health of its warehouse workers, to how little most organisations know about their complex global supply chains and, consequently, how unprepared they are for disruption.
Alongside bringing current conditions into sharp focus, we believe COVID-19 will also predict – and even determine – which businesses will sink or swim over the coming decades. When all this is over, people will remember those that did the right thing. Those who upheld the rules of furloughing, rather than trying to cheat the system. Those who acted quickly and thoughtfully to repurpose resources for the good of society, rather than seeking to profit from fear and uncertainty. Those who recognised that if we don’t act now, there will be many more pandemics ahead of us – and, as Paul Polman suggested this week, rapidly transition to a way of doing business that does not decimate the animal and plant species we all depend on.
Such businesses are already emerging, and we hope and believe there will be more. How organisations act in the short-term will determine their long-term future. Now is the time to decide what kind of business society and the planet truly needs – and to start creating it.