Thursday 9 April 2020
Strategic Partner

How do we get out of a crisis?

How do we get out of a crisis?

When we’re in a crisis situation, most of the time our survival mode kicks in. If we look at Maslow’s pyramid we see 5 human needs in hierarchical order: starting from basic physiological needs, then safety, followed by social belonging, then self-esteem and at the top, self-realization. Once here, you develop your full potential.

But did you know he actually added a 6th step: the need for self-transcendence? Because what motivates you, you once you have done well for yourself and achieved everything you needed, it’s about helping others. You can share your own wellbeing with others, and you become a valuable part of society.

Though this may sound strange this principle applies even now, in times of home isolation and social distancing. We learn to deal with constant changes and new forces arise to help us understanding what we consider meaningful.

By realizing that the limits of our own cognitive abilities have been reached, we can connect with others. As an individual we can no longer cope with many of the problems that come our way and that’s when our collective intelligence, based on all experience knowledge, will be the only real answer.

Because survival mode is on everywhere, we are back to square one. We are actually back at the bottom of the Maslow pyramid. You know: the hierarchy of 5 human needs. With the basic physical conditions, physical safety and economic security at the bottom. When that goes well, social contacts, recognition and appreciation become important. With in the top: self-realization. Developing your full potential.

Everyone knows these 5 needs from Maslow’s theory. But did you know that he added a 6th later: the need for self-transcendence. Because what motivates you, if you have arranged everything well for yourself and if you have achieved everything? Then it comes down to helping others. You can share your own well-being with others. And thus be a valuable part of society and collective consciousness.

Even though we currently shoot in home isolation like a bouncing ball from bottom to top into the pyramid, that yo-yo effect also has its value. We learn to deal with constant change. New forces can arise in researching what we consider important.

Realizing that the limits of our own cognitive abilities have been reached, we connect with others. As an individual we can no longer cope with many of the problems that come our way. For this, our collective intelligence, based on all experience knowledge, will be the only real answer.

 

Then the question is: how do we get out of THIS crisis?

Is it a survival of the fittest? That’s what Darwin would have said: It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

In today’s world, change is the only constant. People sit quietly at home and employees need connection and meaning. In fact, it is actually good to start working together now and get the organization moving, we can ask ourselves:

  • What do we need to do now to get out of the crisis?
  • And what will we do (differently) after the crisis?
  • Is it again ‘business as usual’ or has the world changed structurally?

Stagnation means decline, this out of the ordinary period is very important for a company:

  • to communicate to and connect with your employees.
  • to create a sense of togetherness, we’re strong together, for and with each other.
  • to build trust and provide security.

You want to keep your people active and get them moving, when everything else and everyone comes to a standstill. Because if you can only start again in a few months, the damage will be even greater, so get your organization ready, that when the wind turns and you’re back on track, you can immediately start sailing again.

Search for the force and strength within your organization, for everything that gives life. Start by asking your employees: what do they value? What they are grateful for? And what they would like more from?

To achieve this, we can help you to set up an interactive program with a survey among all your employees, with structured questionnaires, supported by interviews and then summarized in a report to the management and feedback to the employees. We look for the success stories and the strength of the company, based on the experience of your employees, to bring them into dialogue through storytelling. Work can be done on different themes: value propositions, innovation, cooperation, and many more, in an organic way that supports the evolution of the company in this changing world.

This can all be achieved remotely, taking advantage of the extra time at hand for employees and managers. It will also work as a positive steppingstone for behavior and culture change work later on.