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Rebuilding by learning from the stories of others

/ 04:19 AM December 07, 2020

None of us can overstate the impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of our society. It has now been roughly eight months since the pandemic was formally announced in the Philippines, and even though many of us have made plenty of necessary adjustments, tension and uncertainty have endured.

In many ways, the pandemic forced us to address issues that existed long before enhanced community quarantine was first declared in March 2020. We learned how work from home is both possible and productive. The importance of open communication became almost painfully clear as we struggled to make sense of the messages all around us.

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And with everyone glued to their monitors with nowhere to go, upholding transparency and integrity became even more important as our operations became hypervisible. It is imperative that we sustain our momentum toward resolving these issues: Much like COVID-19, the cracks in our systems cannot be fixed overnight.

What makes these recalibrations so difficult is our lack of a blueprint. Normally, we are able to provide our clients with solutions that take tried-and-true approaches to communication and imbibe them with new forms of innovation.

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But business leaders across the world could not foresee something like COVID-19, nor could we refer to our case studies to prepare for the disruption it caused. Truly, this was something we had never dealt with before. Furthermore, what literature exists on phenomena such as this is often global in its approach, without consideration for the behaviors and politics that make our country unlike any other.

The deluge of webinars brought about by COVID-19 makes it clear that we are willing to rethink what it means to be creative, to take calculated risks, and to conduct business with heightened sensitivity. Yet the question begs—how can we make decisions when the insights are still fomenting? Where will these recommendations come from?

It is imperative for businesses to optimize learnings from the pandemic by ensuring that business continuity plans are in place, but more importantly, to study the decision-making and actions of those who have thrived during these uncertain times—in short, shining the light on stories of success, however big or small, so that others may be inspired to do the same.

In our own little way, EON shares the stories of local brands who have pivoted around the pandemic to grow and nurture their stakeholder relationships.

Through Masterstrokes, a product of EON’s think tank, Trust Central, we elevate the Filipino brands that have skillfully blended creativity with compassion to stand out from all the noise. These include stories like Bounty Agro Ventures, who adapted their supply chain to meet demands for agility while keeping the welfare of their employees a top priority; events like Cinemalaya, which harnessed the potential of online platforms to combat new limits on physical space; and brands like Pru Life UK, who capitalized on what Filipinos want from technology to begin discussions on what Filipinos need.

As businessmen, we need to keep our eyes and ears open to the stories of everyone around us. From these, we are certain to learn, unlearn, and increase our chances of success and survival. Our world continues to evolve in a rapid and unpredictable rhythm, but data and insights are the key to harnessing these shifts so that they work in our favor.

Since we cannot turn back time, let’s take the time given to us to collect the knowledge gathered from our experiences and transform it into movements that serve all of us. After all, the best lessons are right in front of us. INQ

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This article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines. 

Junie del Mundo is the vice chair of the MAP CEO Conference Committee  and cofounder and CEO of the EON Group, a fully integrated  communications consultancy with  expertise in, among others, consumer and corporate PR, reputation  management and public affairs

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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