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Friday, 27 November, 2020

Lesson from Lockdown-lite

Lesson from Lockdown-lite – looking to a brighter future. Well, we’ve been enduring the Covid crisis for eight months. On virtually every networking Zoom call I attend, there is someone complaining, wishing it could be over and we could all go back to normal.

I bite my tongue.

If I were to challenge them on their complaint, it probably wouldn’t end well. The reason? Simple – I hope fervently that we never, ever go back to what we all considered “normal”. That “normal” saw greed, exploitation of people and natural resources, hate, fear and a fundamental lack of generosity of spirit, become the norm in workplaces and, sadly, in some homes. That goes for many places, across the Economic North.

And this is where my Misanthropic Maverick has the opportunity to show an unusual bright side! I revel in working with people who are not just “putting up and shutting up”, but actually working to make things different, when Covid-19 is finally defeated.  

As I write this, different parts of the UK are facing varying degrees of lockdown, from minimalist (The Rule of Six for social interaction, and masks-on in shops) to the absolute in whole regions, with venturing outside for all but the most essential of domestic requisites actively frowned-upon in Ministerial speeches. So there are already a lot of people out there, compelled to keep doing things differently. And repetition of behaviours leads to habits.  

Here’s hoping that is the case.

A recent poll carried out by a national newspaper in the UK suggested that over 60% of people would be doing things differently “after Covid” – driving less, consuming less, enjoying nature more. It would be great if this became a “new normal” for us all, leading to healthier lifestyles, more sustainable business practices – and perhaps even a better-late-than-never appreciation of the importance of the natural world.

Some of my business contacts are working on increasing the sustainability of everyday things, like lighting your office or your home, or your office printer’s inks, or how you wash your laundry.

And this gives me great hope.

There has even been a share launch in one contact’s green transport company – if ever there was a vote for the future, that was it, in my view.

Lesson from Lockdown-lite … So many bright ideas, with their energy harnessed into practical gains, which will be easier for the majority to afford and use. Sustainability is necessarily moving away from being the preserve of the affluent middle classes, thinking they are doing a grand job by converting their fuel-hungry 4×4 to biodiesel or recycled oil (I once had a client whose Range Rover left a disconcerting smell of the local chippy behind as he drove off).  

Sustainability is moving into the mainstream, with more and more “green” products appearing on supermarket shelves (and supermarkets for all budgets). And that gladdens not only my green heart, but my Maverick soul. I celebrate those marvellously wilfully independent [1] minds of entrepreneurs and inventors brave enough and passionate enough to truly believe in the better world “after Covid”.

Covid has been a grim way to focus people’s attention on the urgency with which they need to become more sustainable. The important angle, as I see it, is that the lovely Mavericks bringing all these new ways to reduce consumption, to market, are moving into the mainstream.

Their ideas are becoming normalised, even expected.  

They are introducing products to a welcoming market. Covid has focused people’s attention on living healthier, for longer, and on lessening your impact on others. There are always exceptions, but the mainstream is now looking for new ways to do more with less, and for less (the economic impact of Covid will cast a long shadow).

Occasionally, I have the happy chance to be joyful as a Misanthropic Maverick. I am able to keep remote from people, eschewing the chance for a distanced netwalk (!) in favour of good old Zoom. And when I network online and can meet up with people passionate about creating a better world, wanting to help more people to help themselves, looking after the environment rather than exploiting it, it is a joyful experience.  

And without fuel miles. Bonus! Lesson from Lockdown-lite?

Maybe lockdown-lite has taught this misanthrope that it’s worth keeping faith with human nature. “They’re” not all bad, after all. In fact, some are downright wonderful.

Footnote

[1] Wilfully independent – definition of a maverick. Judith Germain 2005

Astrid Davieshttps://astriddaviesconsulting.com/
Astrid Davies MA is an Executive Coach and change consultant who uses her 30 years of leadership experience to help her clients make positive changes which last. She is a mentor and guest lecturer at the University of Southampton, including supporting their Enactus chapter for social entrepreneurs. She also runs a series of successful leadership training networking events across the South of England, where she helps young professionals to build an ethical and effective leadership career alongside their professional development. A passionate champion of diverse and sustainable workplaces, Astrid integrates several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into her client projects. If you would like to find out more, please go to www.astriddaviesconsulting.com.

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