The Network Effect:
We’re tapping some of the experts in the be radical network to join the conversation. This round, we’re projecting lasting transformations for the post-COVID future with Dr. Tiffany Vora and John O’Duinn.
Dr. Tiffany Vora is the founder of Bayana Science, a science communication company, as well as Faculty and Vice Chair of Medicine & Digital Biology at Singularity University. She earned her PhD in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, previously worked in drug discovery & taught at Stanford University and the American University in Cairo.
“I’m watching signals that suggest future mindset shifts in healthcare.
(1) Preventive medicine is a multi-level approach. Despite decades of warnings, this virus’s explosive emergence caught governments, NGOs, and health-care systems flat-footed. Prevention will be key in future, to safeguard the health of individuals (for example through real-time monitoring) and to protect our interconnected systems (perhaps by disentangling them or paying a premium for robustness).
(2) Where is the “point of care” and who are “care providers”? Covid-19 is revealing that the answers are “everywhere” and “everyone.” Will governments and healthcare systems invest in shifting the paradigm away from today’s “sickcare”? Rapid, reliable, and affordable testing, monitoring, and treatment in many locations, including at home, will be highly disruptive to the status quo but potentially powerful for supporting the health of individuals and systems.
(3) Trust is crucial for health initiatives. I was stunned by how quickly the Covid-19 conversation shifted from hard data to panic, fake news, and political maneuvering. Most people urgently need to access trusted advisors to digest unfamiliar information. Governments, NGOs, the media, and organizations, including in health care, should evolve to view trust as the single most valuable commodity they can earn and deploy.”
John O’Duinn is comfortable in high stress, high ambiguity situations—writing code and leading teams in organizations ranging from four-person startups to nonprofits to multinationals—including the U.S. Digital Service in the Obama White House. John’s book Distributed Teams distilled lessons from 14 years leading and 27 years working in distributed teams. John also helped write Vermont’s “Remote Worker” law.
“(1) Most corporate disaster planning I’ve seen focus on short term “disasters” like snow days, power outages or microwave popcorn causing a small fire in the office kitchen. These happen more frequently than pandemics, thankfully, but can leave organizations unprepared for long-term office closures. When a building is an organizational single point of failure, a prolonged office closure is an organizational risk. Even organizations that need specific roles at specific locations rarely need everyone at that location. Learning how to work well together while physically apart is an essential leadership skill—tricky to learn under tight time-pressure and when already physically apart. Some organizations will survive this transition, some will not. Those that survive will have to consider how well their suppliers and their customers made the same transition.
(2) After this current covid-19 pandemic fades away, surviving organizations will have shown their offices are optional. Some will revert back to “business as usual” in offices. However, some will maintain these new leadership and operational skills by encouraging everyone to work outside the office at least part time—gaining competitive advantages like improved hiring, retention, workforce diversity and reduced real estate operational costs. “Never allow a good crisis go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do the things you once thought were impossible.” Rahm Emanuel, ChiefOfStaff to President Obama.
(3) This large-scale shift of “knowledge workers” out of offices will cause tectonic shifts in commercial real estate and housing markets. Related, this will accelerate a trend towards a new form of “Distributed” Economic Development.
We get it. There’s a lot out there. With radical Recommends, we’re not going to overwhelm you. We’ll only highlight a couple of reads/watches/listens each Briefing that are shaping our thinking, challenging our assumptions, or changing our minds.
⇒ What else is going on? The Future Today Institute published their excellent 2020 Tech Trends Report.
⇒ The economics of the pandemic in one essential slide deck from the London Business School .
⇒ Our expert Chris Yeh (whom we also interviewed for our Learning Partnership program) on whether we’ll see a recession or depression and what businesses (especially startups) can do about it with the team at RISEUP.
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