While I’m sensing an underlying drum beat of people starting to get restless with staying at home and sheltering in place, especially from a lot of my friends who own businesses, pandemics don’t care that you’re restless. No matter how bored we all get with the current situation, fast-spreading viruses could thrive as a restless world decides that enough is enough and then we’re really in deep water.
So, instead of grumbling about the situation that we are not in control of, here’s an idea to take advantage of it in an unprecedented opportunity to make things better.
The virtual book club
Remember the olden days of book clubs? Me neither, but I’ve read about them on the Internet. The way this worked was the club or a leader would choose a book and the club would read a certain section of that book and then discuss it at their next meeting.
Imagine if we adapted this to our businesses and found a podcast or video series, watched that on our own time and then used something like Zoom meetings or Slack to get back together and discuss the classes?
Let’s face it, there are some outstanding tools available nowadays in digital format that can really help polish the diamond that is your business or place of work. And many of them are completely free!
As mentioned in the past, there are some incredible podcasts for virtually any industry or passion. Or you could even choose a blog such as the one you’re reading right now, assign a post and regroup to discuss that post.
This could be especially helpful if there were posts that addressed areas where your operation could be improved. Let’s face it, most of the posts in this blog were written after a particularly bad experience that could be easily improved.
One way to “plus” the Book Club idea would be to empower each member of your team to seek out a podcast or other resource and bring it back to the group on the next meeting. Obviously you’ll have some duds, but if you find that one thing that really sparks an interested in the crew that could create some great discussion.
Certainly some members fo the crew are going to like this idea better than others but it’s also a way to stay in touch with people whom you might be really missing at the moment.
This could also be a way to get together and brainstorm ways to make the customer experience even better when the doors are reopened. We all see things we can do better and many people don’t feel empowered to suggest change at their place of work. With everything else turned upside down, perhaps the janitor or the front desk clerk or the housekeeper sees things that would make their jobs better and improve the customer experience as well.
While the team we had at the resort I owned would never ever listen to podcasts or watch videos or read blog posts on how to improve what they do on a normal day, I could actually envision that they would welcome any chance to get together and talk with other humans who are old enough to drive at this point so people adapt.
If you want to take this to another level, there are also some paid resources that could make sense. For example, Master Class is offering a two-for-one special right now. Master Class is a virtual series that focuses on a few areas of expertise but has used very high profile teachers to provide the lessons.
In this series you’ve got people like Martin Scorsese teaching filmmaking or Gordon Ramsay teaching cooking. That kind of thing. These classes aren’t inexpensive at $180 for a subscription but that price is halved since you get two subscriptions for that at the moment.
While some people are sitting at home bored right now, this is the opportunity to gain a leg up on the competition for when it does make sense to get back into the swing of things. If you hit the ground running and return with a new attitude and better service than ever, imagine the impression you’ll leave on customers who have also been weary of their same surroundings?
Not all of our competition is going to survive this pandemic with some companies already announcing that they are closing their doors. I’m hoping that larger companies also see the value of having their employees work from home and there’s a sea change in how things are done.
No matter what, I wish you the best in all of this.