HAPHAZARD RESPONSE

Does the name Haphazard Business seem less abstract than two weeks ago? The haphazard response to the Covid-19 epidemic around the world provides a stark reminder how quickly situations can change and the importance of being open and nimble when faced with sudden disruption.


Photo: Changing The Lightbulb | Four White House staffers huddle together pre-President Trump’s press briefing announcing paramount importance in observing social distancing. (Screenshot from YouTube, 27March2020, by John McKiernan)

What’s in a name?

The name Haphazard Business took several months to decide upon. It was essential to convey the precarious nature of all plans; no matter how well laid out they may be on paper. Planning is very important in creating any business or pursuing an idea, however it is also equally important to create contingency throughout, and be ready to abandon previously hard held views.

On setting out on this journey to create a hub, few understood why I chose this name, it made no sense as it is not selling anything and is abstract. Yet today, with the Coronavirus keeping more than half the World’s population on lockdown, does Haphazard Business seem less abstract?

Changing Tack

The Washington Post in mid-March ran a headline combining ‘haphazard’ and ‘helter-skelter’ when describing the White House early response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Helter-skelter is not in the Haphazard Business Glossary, although soon to be added, and refers as much to the rollercoaster ride we are all embarking upon as to the more recongnised meaning; “in disorderly haste or confusion.” (Google)

Jared Kushner’s ‘haphazard and helter-skelter’ coronavirus response revealed by The Washington Post (Raw Story)

Kushner entered into a crisis management process that, despite the triumphant and self-congratulatory tone of public briefings, was as haphazard and helter-skelter as the chaotic early days of Trump’s presidency — turning into something of a family-and-friends pandemic response operation.

The administration’s struggle to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak has been marked by infighting and blame-shifting, misinformation and missteps, and a slow recognition of the danger. Warring factions have wrestled for control internally and for approval from a president who has been preoccupied with the beating his image is taking.

Washington Post

Although the businessman within President Donald Trump has been pivoting wildly in the last few days of March 2020, as the full scale of the crisis and the impact on the US has become apparent, it was by all measures a slow response. His unwillingness to listen to the professional advice being offered may prove his downfall. His fixed mindset refused to acknowledge wider factors beyond his own experience, and can be a lesson everyone can learn from.

Post Covid-19 World

At time of writing, no one knows how this global crisis will play out. What is fairly clear already is that individuals, communities, business and the global economy are going to stumble out of this into a new World. The Kaleidoscope has been shaken dramatically, and business as usual cannot resume.

Haphazard Business was not a prophesy of impending crisis, it was and remains a blog to demonstrate the need for flexibility and to encourage expanding the nuance within an idea or project being pursued; the importance of being open, adaptable and accepting of change and challenge. Creative collaboration trumps the lone scientist (pun intended), as Walter Isaacson points out masterfully in his book The Innovators.

Going Forward

It might be difficult today to believe, as the death toll mounts, that we will come out the other side of this pandemic. It is imperative that those in a position of power, wealth and stability, as well as the visionaries, now step up to the plate with urgency and begin to shape the post Covid-19 World into something that is more equitable and empathetic than our recent past.

I have already set in motion the speeding up of my plans and these will be revealed over coming blog posts. Please feel free to comment below.

John M

References

Brigham, Bob. 14 March 2020, Jared Kushner’s ‘haphazard and helter-skelter’ coronavirus response revealed by The Washington Post, Raw Story, Washington, Online. https://www.rawstory.com/2020/03/jared-kushners-haphazard-and-helter-skelter-coronavirus-response-revealed-by-the-washington-post/

Washington Post, 14 March 2020, Infighting, missteps and a son-in-law hungry for action: Inside the Trump administration’s troubled coronavirus response, The Washington Post, Washington. Online.https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/infighting-missteps-and-a-son-in-law-hungry-for-action-inside-the-trump-administrations-troubled-coronavirus-response/2020/03/14/530c28b4-6559-11ea-b3fc-7841686c5c57_story.html?arc404=true

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