We are going to find a lot of industries that are going to go through a similar process. They will continue to exist, but at a different scope, scale, frequency, profitability, etc.
When COVID 19 was first knocking at the door of America, one of the common ways of inoculating our thinking about the danger was the attitude of “Oh, well more people die from flu than this,” and the whole time I was thinking, well, why do we allow so many people to die from the flu? My cousin died of the flu this year. He was 45 years old. Why did we allow un-sanitary practices that create hundreds of thousands of deaths? Why did we make people go to work sick? So they could give it to other people? Because of how easily this disease is transmitted it is going to make every human being on the planet rethink the priorities of how they spend time and where they go for meetings, for fun, or entertainment.
The defaults are going to change. If my default was going to meet with somebody if they were in the area, it would either be lunch, coffee, or a beer. that’s not going to be the default for a long time. The default is going to be let’s have a call and then we’ll meet if we really need to. So all these kinds of past practices are going to shift. For example, people forget that Americans used to spit a lot and there’s a thing called a Splatoon, right? Americans used to be the spitiest people on the planet. Then during the Spanish flu, there was huge information bombardment of new best practices saying, “please don’t spit”. And guess what, people in America don’t spit as much anymore. And so the same thing’s going to happen. We just don’t know what those things are going to be.
What we’re really talking about here is, possibly the greatest mindset change experiment the world has ever tried. It’s like the entire world is trying to change a mindset and behavior and the entire world is frustrated by how hard that is.
This is also an amazing time depending on your geography, depending on your network. This can be the time where you connect with more people than ever before. Accessibility to people’s time is super high right now. So many people are isolated at home and working from home. There’s now a level of accessibility to that spirit or that connection. I’m more connected now than I’ve ever been in terms of conversations of meaning and meeting new people and reconnecting with old people or old friends. This is going to be the time of greatest innovation and creativity probably in my lifetime because it’s a global issue and it’s not localized into a particular country or a particular national identity.
How have you adjusted your business model?
I’ve got about a hundred licensees around the world that deliver my program. But that program is a face to face program. And so I’ve got all of these licensees who can’t do face to face programs now. If I don’t help them figure out how to do this virtually, then they won’t do it, and so I spent the first two weeks of my isolation in creating an app they could use to augment the virtual experience and run virtual sessions with them. Now they could see that even if their participants can’t have a physical box, they can still add value. From that, came this idea of, if I can do this with my facilitators, maybe I can do this with other people and so I created this one hour “hack your box for coved 19” program. I’m donating one day a week where I’m running free one hour sessions at staggered times, around the globe just to help people rethink their thinking because so many of us are in coping mode instead of strategically thinking this through. If I can give somebody the value of an hour of reflection and come out with some new things that they can do, then I win because I’m getting better at doing my job. They win because they’ve got some value. And maybe out of all of this, they think, Hey, that Jimbo guy, he’s pretty good. We should hire him for our company or I should learn how to do this. I want to fine-tune how I help people change their thinking via the online environment. That’s the core message of everything that I’m telling any of my clients or any of my colleagues is don’t fight the future. Don’t, don’t say I want to go back to the “new normal”. It’s really about making decisions today that are keeping me healthy, helping me stay alive. Have the courage to do the things that need to be done today. look for hints and clues in those coping behaviors into what the success strategies of the short to mid-term are going to do for you so that you can create longer-term strategies for the world that’s going to emerge three months, six months, eight months, one year, two years, six years. That’s a future reality, you’re prepared for it because you’re looking at what’s going on now too to guide you as opposed to looking at what was going on before.