A healthy business cannot exist in a sick society.
– Peter Drucker
Organisations that see the writing on the wall are not waiting for the WHO to declare a pandemic. They are taking matters into their own hands because they know that it is better to be safe than sorry. They range from start-ups to giant corporations. They are willing to take a hit as they know the calamity that they want to pre-empt.
The single biggest reason for the spreading of the virus is that infected people are in circulation around the world.And whatever the world can do to limit the circulation of people and make it absolutely controlled is bound to help us all. Whatever arguments that are being dished out to deny the need for an absolute clampdown on people movement are arguments of convenience made out of an inability to visualise how quickly things spiral out of control when they cross a tipping point.
The governments that have succeeded in containing it have absolutely been prepared for a complete lock-down. Their fast planning and furious action was simultaneously building the case for a complete lock-down, if the results wouldn’t have come.
But governments cannot do it alone. People and society and its organisations must step up. People are so used to looking up-to the government for taking the lead and showing the way that they do not realise they have the capacity to think and act on their own. Granted that the government has control over the overall machinery of action, but that is still not going to work in the event of a pandemic.
You do not build a health care system to outlast a pandemic. You can educate and inspire a proactive society that galvanises into action and uses the system where-ever possible to fight and transcend the system where necessary. And that is increasingly going to be the need of the hour.
Decisions of organisations to limit people movement, to ask people to work from home, or just to stay at home are attempts to transcend the system. It is a painful measure to take, but if nobody takes it, we are guaranteed to face the worst-case scenario. Thankfully, a few organisations know this and are leading the change.
It is better to be safe than sorry. Prevention is better than cure. It is time to feel the vitality of truth in time-worn cliches. It is time for all social organisations to realistically appraise everything they do in the light of “society-critical” understanding, not just “mission-critical”. And it is time for them to demonstrate their highest social responsibility and sacrifice their today for a stable tomorrow.
If social distancing is indispensable to contain the outbreak, it requires an overwhelming majority to agree and make it happen all over the world. Those who wait for governments to give that call must realise that they are abdicating their power and their responsibility. Whatever lies in their discretionary power to decide and choose, they must. Wherever they can own responsibility for a better social outcome, they must step up.
The Call to Action for all Social Organisations is Now. Those who act believe in taking charge of their own destiny.