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2012, Adrian Helmsley, and A World Post-Covid


Over the weekend, I decided to watch my favourite films, back to back. I was cosy, in my dressing gown with a bag of chocolate buttons, watching the last fifteen minutes of 2012, and I was struck by something.


In 2012, Adrian Helmsley confronts the leaders of various countries, begging them to allow the people on the Ark’s doorsteps to be allowed access to the ship, so they do not drown upon impact of an imminent tsunami. He declared that “I read a quote two days ago. The author is probably dead by now, but he said: "The moment we stop fighting for each other, that's the moment that we lose our humanity."… “Everybody out there has died in vain if we start our future with an act of cruelty. What would you tell your children? What will they tell theirs?””


In the face of catastrophic change, millions of people perished. Until that moment, it seemed most characters lost their lives of no fault of anybody. There was simply no way to give everyone salvation. However, a moral decision was thrust upon the characters in that moment, and, in a world faced by horror, panic, desperation and inconceivable change, Helmsely and the other characters choose compassion. They let the refugees on board. They choose to face these changes, and try to preserve their humanity in these last fleeting moments.

In her article for Harvard Business Review, Sarah Jensen Clayton explained that change management in the current climate is essential, taking chances, utilising every moment to learn, develop and hone the internal skillset of teams to improve the company standing once things “go back to normal” ought to be an organisation’s top priority because “if we know anything for certain in this moment, it’s that more change is coming.”


More change was coming in 2012. More change is coming now. We cannot pre-empt the way that the world will shape itself at our feet as we brave a world post-covid. Just as the characters in the film had no idea what would become of them when facing the changes that surrounded them; how the children would handle the trauma of surviving so many natural disasters, watching them take the lives of companions, and family alike. The adults had no idea what would have happened to civilisation, and society in the face of an almost completely new start.


The world after the virus is manageable is similar. What will become of the jobs of the furloughed, what will happen to our economy. We know that, eventually, it will be a memory, as vaccination rollouts continue on their way and restrictions ease. But, we won’t know what will happen until we face it head-on.


Will people still wear masks, to protect themselves and others from illness? That’s certainly a possibility. Will hand sanitisation stations remain a fixture in every store nationwide? Will companies keep their reservation cancellation fees from when we could only eat and drink outdoors? It would certainly allow them to claw back a crumb of revenue from a year of industry disturbance.


Will everything bounce back?


Covid has made the world something it has never been before, and as Sarah Jensen Clayton said in her article, “for organizations operating virtually, internal social media and collaboration platforms are likely the fastest and most effective way to drive understanding of your change efforts”. After all, it is significantly less time consuming to launch a group chat, or send group texts, than it would to put on the formal “boss-voice” and write an email with instructions for colleagues to look into. By utilising non-conventional workplace platforms of communication, someone having a messy house, a rampant toddler, being mid-move, etc. is no longer a barrier of engagement at work. Zoom revolutionised the working from home lifestyle, but, in a world where everyone in a household could be trying to hold Zoom Calls at the same time, being able to co-ordinate via Whatsapp can be a welcome relief.


Change is constant. It is always around us, but sometimes, it is thrust upon us like an avalanche, or ambushes us, supposedly out of nowhere, our own ignorance, or innocence leaving us stricken. Clayton suggests that using the pandemic as a period to evolve means we will be better prepared to face what is on the horizon: learn to be flexible, hone internal and external communication, explore new ways to improve products, and services.


And, we couldn’t agree more.



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.


He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.


The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.


To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com


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