Difficult Learning Required
Failures are more frequent than before when handling adaptive challenges. People will get frustrated and stress will manifest. There will be a need to learn new ways of addressing the challenge. This may involve getting on the balcony and look at the challenge from the balcony perspective. It may also require unlearning and relearning. In an effort of handling or solving an adaptive challenge, different groups will be formed; each group will try to address the problem without success. There will be a need for joint efforts in understanding, analyzing and coming up with a working solution.
In a matter of months, Coronavirus Covid-19 which had emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 had evolved from a mere enemy to one of the most feared viruses worldwide. Covid-19 brought another battle and changed the slogan of “united we stand.” This time it was the opposite. Human race was locked from movements. Activities across the world were brought to a stand still; businesses, tourism, sports, entertainments, technology forums were all impacted.
Although scientists have encountered other diseases caused by coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers), they managed to come up with measures to contain the spread. Cure for common cold, which is also as a result of coronavirus is yet to be discovered despite years of work. Common cold was forgiving unlike Covid-19 which has claimed more than 265,000 lives within 5 months with more than 3.8 million infections.
The World Health Organisation in March 2020 declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic. It was time for the governments, medics and general population to learn new ways of containing the spread of the virus. Different approaches were implemented by governments. First it was educating the public on the need to maintain a high level of hygiene by washing hands using soap and running water and maintaining social distance. Restricting travels into and out of the country, increasing border surveillance and isolation on arrival of travelers arriving to the country. This was followed by closure of all learning institutions, churches and most restaurants. Lockdowns in a number of countries also meant that the government had to come up with ways to provide food and other basic needs to vulnerable families. In some developing countries, governments had to implement a mechanism of increasing intensive care beds and emergency response, provision of masks and isolations units.
Medical practitioners have taken to the front line in saving the world against the virus. They were the last hope after they started getting infected. Doctors had to work for longer hours without rest, without seeing their loved ones. With the high number of reports of new infections they had to learn how to manage different categories of patients while taking all the precautionary measures not to contract the virus. Some doctors contracted the disease and they had to go through the same pain patients were going through.
Human race operations were interrupted. Lockdown meant no movements out of the residentials and people had to learn to cope up with this. Teachers and other professions had to devise new methods of delivery through use of technology. Employees had to learn to work from home. With diminishing job opportunities, families had to learn to survive on whatever little they had with some relying upon well wishers for survival.
In diagnosing an adaptive challenge people will be stretched; and difficult decisions are likely to be made.. These decisions may be in contrast to our ways of life. However, in exercising adaptive leadership placing people at the center brings a difference. People will appreciate the need to make difficult decisions. They will learn from the challenge.
Thank you for watching. In our next lesson we are going to look at the fourth social flag of diagnosing an adaptive challenge New stakeholders across the boundaries need to be engaged.