Finding New Ways to Serve
Employees, Customers and Communities
Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring the effects of the coronavirus on organizations and ways to mitigate the cultural and economic damage they face. To assess the current landscape, we conducted an informal survey of roughly 80 organizations from across metro Atlanta in partnership with HR Executive Roundtable and the HR Leadership Forum. The sample includes organizations from a variety of industry groups. While it is not representative of the U.S., Georgia, or metro Atlanta economy as a whole, it does capture the intense distress being experienced by mid-size, tech, and retail-oriented companies — a snapshot of the crisis, collected recently. We wanted to understand how organizations were dealing with the disruption and what they planned to do once their companies decided to re-open. We were particularly interested in their human resource and leadership resilience and the challenges of bringing employees back to work.
Continue reading Opening for Business – by Shelton Goode and Cathy Light
We are still dealing with the Atlanta area shooting of African American jogger, and now the death of George Floyd by law enforcement. In the midst of this violence, Chattanooga announced progress in creating a physical space to remember the lynching of an African American more than a century ago. The memorial will be a contemplative space near the Walnut Street Bridge and despite the pandemic, the expectation is that people will come to learn, reflect, mourn and learn from history. And hopefully, to apply those lessons going forward
Continue reading Bridge memorial in the Pandemic – by Deborah Levine
I ask you this before we get to the story below: Which side are you more sympathetic – those who argue for protection of their freedom not to wear protective masks or those who insist that others wear mask to ensure the safety of them and others?
Let’s go to the story.
“I will not trade my freedom for your safety” – those are the actual words printed in large red letters on a poster carried by a mustachioed, pistol carrying protester with the American flag hovering in the background on Facebook.
Continue reading Masking or unmasking America – by Terry Howard
Your phone rang late that evening:
You: Hello my friend. What’s up?
Caller: Wanted to let you know of some bad news.
“So-so” passed away unexpectedly.
You: Oh my! I meant to call him months ago but never got around to it!
With the spread of COVID -19, I suspect that many of you dread getting that phone call that someone you knew came down with the disease. Or worse. And little did we know. In fact, little does anyone always know “why” when tragedy unfold in our lives. But in many ways, we do have control over what can we do now before that inevitable bad news heads our way.
Continue reading Run Shay, Run – by Terry Howard
One School’s Experience
Imagine that literally overnight, everyone in your profession all over the world was told that your work would have to be done very differently, totally online, starting the next day. No-one had preparation, many of the recipients of your work did not have devices, and many were traumatized by the change. In addition, many of the professionals, who were to be working from home, also were trying to deal with their family’s needs.
Welcome to the world of education today, where teachers, support personnel and administrators are creatively trying in new ways to meet the needs of so many.
Continue reading Education in the Pandemic – by Katie Schwartz
BREAKING NEWS: Airlines banish the dreaded middle seat (USA Today, 4/23/20)
To further the goal of social distancing driven by COVID-19, the hugely unpopular middle seat has been ushered into retirement leaving millions of dangling elbows, including mine, breathing a sigh of relief.
Years ago, I pushed my way through first class out of breath having barely made the flight. I eased my way down the aisle and — as is the practice with Southwest Airlines — tried to find the first available seat. Not surprising, the only remaining ones were those in the middle.
Continue reading What to do about those elbows -by Terry Howard
For the past 5 weeks, I have been living a nightmare. I’ve been about half-present at work, or maybe more precisely I’ve been mostly present about half the time. I’ve come and gone from social media because too often I am unable to tolerate the incivility and hatred that has become – against all odds – even worse during this time when we should all be pulling together.
The nightmare I’ve been living is being worried sick that the love of my life was going to die.
About 5 weeks ago, already almost 2 weeks into self-imposed social distancing, Maddie started to cough. At first, it seemed like a simple chest cold. No high fever, no loss of taste or smell, nothing that made me panic.
The cough kept getting worse.
Continue reading The Nightmare Cough – by Dr. Les Kertay
Working from home isn’t a new concept, just an increasingly necessary one. Computers have pointed us in that direction for almost 50 years. When my mother insisted that I take the first computer programming elective offered at my high school during the 1960s, I thought she was nuts. I was focused on learning Russian and preparing for a catastrophic moment in the Cold War. But Mom informed me in her soft sweet voice that computers were the change shaping the future and she was commanding, not suggesting. And if that weren’t weird enough, she insisted that I take a typing class to ramp up my keyboard speed.
Continue reading Work In the Future – by Deborah Levine
We are still in the midst of a disruptive crisis no matter how “positive thinking police” try to spin it. As the Covid-19 quarantine continues with people working from home, with little or no social interaction, some of your team members may start experiencing a deeper level of anxiety. No one knows when or how it will end or what the “new normal” will look like. That anxiety due to seemingly uncertain futures and not knowing how or when the crisis will end, can cause some people to panic, lose focus about their work and disengage from the team.
With the right strategies you have the power to help yourself, your family and people in your organization to not panic and instead find joy and stay engaged. The actions you take now to increase and sustain connection, community, and inclusion will make the difference between a long re-entry or the shortest one possible. If you want to know five actions you can take immediately, read on.
Continue reading How Leaders Can Reduce Anxiety and Prevent Panic – by Simma Lieberman
An interesting thing happened to me last week. You see, I was in the middle of reading a piece by a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist on “social distancing,” the latest add on to COVID-19 discourse these days, when the columnist, an acknowledged introvert, alluded to another writer he’d recently interviewed for his story; Susan Cain, author, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.”
Now raise your hand if you an extrovert or an introvert? Go ahead, nobody’s looking. How are you faring in home confinement these days if you’re one or the other? And if you are closed in with someone opposite your style, how’s that going for ya?
Continue reading Extroverts and introverts: how are you faring? – by Terry Howard