What would you do differently weeks ago, if you knew then what you know now?

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What would you do differently weeks ago, if you knew then what you know now?
We look at four key themes that came out of the post covid question “what would you have done differently”.

COVID Hindsight – We all have it now.

We’ve seen the memes – that March 2020 felt like a year.   It’s unbelievable how much has happened in the last few weeks.     And what is more incredible is the ability for an entire planet worth of humans, to change behaviour. The above chart is sobering.

While it’s far from over, and we aren’t sure when that will be, already we’ve seen incredible shifts in our behaviour and social norms.  So much, including working from home, to having no sports or teams to watch and follow, no arts or live music to attend.  Some of us have no jobs, or businesses.

REFLECTION (just for a moment, before we forget )

We wanted to pause for a moment at ADAPTOVATE and reflect on the past few weeks.  Very soon, it will all become our ‘usual’.  We may forget the early lessons.   So we asked our team, what would they do differently 4 weeks ago, if they knew then, what they know now.  Before we forget.    We took the time to reflect, and we hope when we do return to normal, we can review our hindsight and perhaps just change our behaviour a little to a new , better normal.

Some of the answers are light-hearted, and that’s not only ok – it’s welcomed.   We actually do miss the fun stuff.   And some of the answers are more serious – which is also ok.   Our new life is unprecedented and it can be useful for us to reflect on this and learn.

Before getting to the team’s thoughts, there were four key themes that came out.

  1. Set up my online tools, and upskill expertise in those tools straight away.
  2. Set up routine from the start. Exercise and breaks.
  3. Done that thing – I was going to do and didn’t (lesson:  when things get back to our new normal, perhaps acting on those things rather than procrastinating)
  4. From a business perspective – focus on how you can differentiate from the noise in market sooner
  5. (bonus key theme:  buy more toilet paper) 😉

Do any of them sound familiar?    Do they resonate with you?   As an excercise it may be worth having your team, pause for a moment and reflect on what they would have done differently.

person holding clear ball

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

Now, Read on to find out how some of our global ADAPTOVATE team responded to question :
What would you differently had you know then, what you know now. 

Ted Tomoyasu  – North America office

Gone to the Lakers vs. Clippers game!

Steve Walton – Australian office

I would focus more on how to think about immediate priorities more from a differentiation perspective, than just a crisis reaction perspective. Now is a time of great change, and also an opportunity, not to only ask, how can we help – but to ask, how can we help differently, beyond the first step.

ADAPTOVATE has great experience from our DNA from being born as a remote first organisation where many of us worked in locations, across the globe with never meeting another team member in person for months at a time. This experience gives us practical insights into how to make it work unique to us.

Our first step was to help organisations get ready to work remote working – most are doing OK, smart people run companies, our difference is about sustaining this. I am looking forward to working with people on how to help them sustain it too.

Mina Gurgis – Australian office

Set a routine – it’s easy to get carried away when working from home and sacrifice having breaks, exercise and family time, so it’s best to set a routine of when to start and stop like we do in the physical office space. Work never ends and there is a higher risk of burning out when working from home for long periods.

Rachna Verma – Australian office

Digitise physical boards and use them in ceremonies for a few weeks to iron out any issues before working 100% remotely

Brooke Pannell – North American office

Three weeks ago I would have taken a long hike and stayed at the beach for longer than I did! It’s been tough cooped up inside, however we have been doing our part to flatten the curve, which is more important than getting out of the house.

Shannon Gilliam – North American office

I would have set up a new routine that focused on a more productive work/exercise/life blend. And I also would have invested in a better work from home setup. Having the tools that make working easier and more enjoyable – dual monitors, separate keyboard, post-its, etc. Knowing that I now have these things will make any future needs to adapt easier.

Benny Ko – Australian office

Introduce online tools to the team and train the team to use these tools effectively

Caitilin Studdert – Australian office

Swum with the Bold and the Beautiful swim group at Manly

Chelsea Bates – Australian office

Other than purchase some paper towel before it ran out, I would have allowed set breaks in my calendar after week 1 of remote working. Working remotely means a lot more video calls (which are great to stay in touch and aligned) and sitting down at 8.30 and not moving for hours.

Setting a 5min break regularly to walk outside, get some fresh air and stretch helps me stay sane and focussed.

Sean Woon – Australian office

In hindsight probably not much as we are used to living with uncertainties in my personal life. We have learnt previously to “focus on the now” and simply do what is in our control at the time.

So based on that, whatever we were doing 3 weeks ago, it would have been the right thing for that time. As a consequent we reacted to getting more toilet paper early, and currently have just enough to last for a little while 🙂

Andy Koh – Singapore office.

Upskill on existing collaboration and Agile tools available I would improve my expertise on existing collaboration and Agile tools available. When remote working became reality, some of the people I work with quickly realized the usefulness of online tools like JIRA, MIRO and TRELLO.

Very quickly people started asking how such tools can be used in replacement for face-to-face interaction since they are the next best thing available. Practical and experience-driven hands-on demonstrations became valuable immediately.

Plan a regular exercise regime I have found that exercising regularly keeps my spirits up. At the same time, staying at home for long periods of time dampens my spirit. To find balance during this difficult time, I would have planned for a regular exercise regime three weeks ago and kept to it to ensure a healthy mindset.

Looking back, I spent the past three weeks experimenting with different time windows and types of exercises before finding the right mix.

What would you have done differently?



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