A Time for a Deep Dive


As we survey the new landscape created by COVID-19, it’s very difficult to find any positive news.

Indeed, businesses are shuttered, jobs are being lost, the closure order for non-essential businesses has been extended until May 18, question marks dominate talk of restarting the economy, and, overall, fear and uncertainty hang over the region like dark rain clouds.

If there is positive news — beyond the ways that individuals and businesses are rallying to support first responders and frontline workers during this crisis — it is that businesses are using the pandemic as a learning experience. And beyond that, they’re utilizing the pause that many of them are enduring to take a long, hard look at everything they do and how they do it — and essentially question everything.

And when we question everything, we often find some intriguing answers.

There are many reasons why we don’t question everything. Often, we’re busy doing other things, such as running our business day to day. Also, this is a difficult exercise that requires not only time but a deep commitment to peeling layers, getting to the bottom of things, and not being afraid of hearing answers to our questions. But often, the reason why we don’t question everything is because things are going well — or we think they’re going well. And why would we stop and question things when we’re doing well?

The pandemic has changed all that. For starters, most people aren’t doing particularly well at the moment. And some, tragically, aren’t doing anything at all. They are completely shut down because they are not considered essential. Meanwhile, some people have more of that most precious commodity — time — than they’ve ever had.

And some others have been left with no option but to rethink what they do and how they do it, because they simply can’t do it that way in the middle of a pandemic when everyone has been ordered to stay at home.

Add it all up, and most businesses, institutions, and nonprofits are using these times to do the proverbial deep dive.

Restaurants are looking at their menus, their presentation, their staffing, their locations, even their wine lists. Nonprofits are looking at how they raise funds and when. They’re also looking at their missions and how they might be altered, broadened, or even tightened. All businesses are looking at how they communicate, how they meet, how many employees they really need, how many of these employees can actually work better from home, and how many square feet of space they actually need. They’re also looking at whether they need to diversify and develop more revenue streams moving forward.

The word you hear over and over and over again is ‘pivoting.’ Some businesses and nonprofits are already doing it. Others know they have to do it. Still others are asking the questions needed for them to know how to do it.

We call this a positive development, because this is what entrepreneurs and companies need to be doing all the time. The best, most efficient companies in the world are constantly looking at what they do and how they do it in a search for ways to continuously improve.

It took a pandemic, but now most every company is doing it. They’re questioning everything.

At a time when positives are hard to come by, this one stands out.

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