An opportunity in crisis

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking a great deal with executives about their tactics for immediate survival and strategies for long-term recovery. Like all of us, they are watching numbers constantly. The COVID-19 numbers of course, but also their own metrics of sales, customer engagement, productivity … whatever is important to them.

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Visualization shamelessly borrowed from:

I hear many different stories, except that every executive I have spoken with genuinely worries about the welfare of their staff and painfully realizes that business operations are slowing down dramatically.

When it comes to working from home, I’m fascinated by the differences in experiences between companies. Some leaders feel their teams are being held back by a lack of spontaneous interactions — in the corridor or around the water cooler. Yet I have spoken with numerous team members who see the opposite effect. They suggest that people now have time to think on their own and bring carefully considered ideas to their conversations. We may hold fewer meetings, with higher productivity, because there’s just no point in hanging around online if ideas and decisions do not move forward; and in online meetings the flattening influence of the technology (which can indeed leave online meetings feel dull) also works to moderate the loudest voice or the most dominant personality. …


Donald Farmer

Mostly, but far from exclusively, writing here about my work in data analytics strategy, BI, machine learning. See more at

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