By James Lewis
James Lewis is a Lead with Humanity Associate. He is an accredited coach with vast experience in transformation, diversity and personal development.
How can we build organisations able to serve and support society’s future needs?
This is one of many questions that I believe leaders will need to ask in the coming months. All companies are going to require a dramatic healing phase. Followed by a renewal and adaptation phase, and, most certainly, a phase for higher purpose reflection.
Can we build organisations that honour public interest above private desire?
How can we build organisations that are strong and sustainable rather than limiting and vulnerable? How can we create truly healthy organisational cultures? How can we eradicate selfish neoliberalist values in favour of collaborative and cohesive values that encompass the greater ecosystem? How can we rebuild the trust we have lost? How do we repair damaged relationships?
How do we build a nation, and a global world, that can handle an unknown future? What is our part in this? Could we have saved lives, and livelihoods, if we had been different?
These questions are critical. They are the foundation from which we climb up and out and from which we build a better world.
We have a golden opportunity to build organisations that uplift and uphold a cohesive society in the face of great adversity.
Leaders must begin to take serious stock of their historical impact on their organisation and their people. Many will need to radically challenge their perspective, their internal compass, and the influence they have.
How does one do this? How does one challenge ingrained perspectives, deeply rooted in values, culture and historical circumstances. This type of radical introspection cannot take place in a classroom. It cannot be taught. I believe it is only through immersing oneself in real and vulnerable experiences, which can cause a fundamental shift in perception and perspective. An immersion of top-tier leaders in the coalface of experience.
I believe we are facing one overarching choice, as entrepreneurs, organisations, nations and the world. Are we going to succumb to disaster capitalism and the neoliberal mantra of each for their own? Or, are we going to use this opportunity to build societies that encourage solidarity, equality, and compassion for each other and our planet?
It is time to transform how we interact with each other and with the environment and how we respond to crisis so that we don’t only ‘flatten the COVID-19 curve’ but flatten the consequences of this pandemic, and future calamities that will almost certainly come our way.