Our Corona Virus Pandemic Story – Understanding Change

  • Alok 

“Many years back when Corona Virus attacked our world, this is what actually happened!!”

This is how many of us today would like to start our story a few decades later. When we will tell our story to the curious kids who will be born after this era. Or to those who are too young to understand what is happening around them. There will be stories of fear, stories to bravery, stories of loss, and there will be your own story of how you survived, how you changed, how life changed and how things transformed. They are saying that the world won’t be the same again. And I don’t find enough reason to disagree.

What will be our Story?

Now the question is, how we want to tell our stories in the future. A story of loss and failure or a story of transformation and innovation. It completely depends on how we act now. How are we spending this time in Lockdown? Are we just waiting for the things to be Normal again or are we doing something about ourselves?

This is a time of dramatic change. And to play this game well we have to understand change itself. A good way to view this whole experience is through the lens of the Kubler Ross change curve.

Kubler Ross Change Curve

This is the most popular model of change given to us by physiatrist Elisabeth Kubler Ross and is the most accepted model of our times. It tells that most of us go through the following state of mind a big and dramatic change happens:

  1. Shock
  2. Denial
  3. Frustration
  4. Depression
  5. Experiment
  6. Decision
  7. Integration

The pace at which things have unraveled in the last 15 days has left many of us in shock. It is a natural human reaction. The shock is often followed by denial. “This cannot be happening,” “This feels surreal,” “This feels like we are in a Hollywood movie.”

Denial of the new reality often leads to frustration and anger. “This could have happened at least after March,” “Why do these Chinese eat everything that moves?” “What the hell will we do now?” All these and a significant deal more – are reactions we have seen all over social media and popular channels.

Denial and Frustration

If this line of thinking and venting continues, we could see large group of people tumbling into the stage of depression – a state that is marked by low energy and sense of being lost or purposeless. Definitely not a place we want to be in.

What is the way out?

The biggest distance we need to cover is in our own minds. The moment we are able to make that leap in our minds that the previous normal has changed is when we start to make new beginnings. We will start trying out different things

This starts with a period of experimentation. New behaviors – new ways of working, which may be radically different from what we used to do in the past. Any change though moves us to a place of discomfort. We yearn for the comfort of the tried and the tested – the past, the way we used to do things “in the good old days.” We need to move past this. That is “old cheese” and it is gone forever. Even when the world recovers fully from COVID-19, do not expect life to go back to what it was. That is the nature of change. A lot of people are moving to experiment with the virtual world. It may be a new way of life. The choice is with us – do we move on and reinvent ourselves and stay relevant or do we remain where we are, wistfully hoping and crying for “the good old days”

We need to move decisively towards this new world. It is a world that holds the promise of much bigger opportunities than we have ever experienced before. Opportunities to collaborate and work across borders, to stretch ourselves as individuals and professionals, to embrace new and interesting tools, to bring value to our customers in much more efficient ways than we ever have. While our generation is moving towards this brave new world, it is up to each one of us to define how we want to join this movement.

I have recently recorded a video in hindi on the same topic. Do have a look – Understanding Change during Lockdown

I will be looking forward to your comments on this topic, If this blog helps you in someway, do let me know.

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