How COVID-19 is changing the way we think about doing business

The need for emergent change has never been more clear. In fact, in the midst of the global Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), we are at an unprecedented crossroads in shaping our future. As we work to make the necessary adjustments to adapt to this new business, social and environmental ecosystem, it is important that we keep in mind just how our short term actions impact our long term focus. We have the opportunity to enact change now rather than waiting for action. Modeling leadership in business for sustainability has always been essential; we now have both the urgent need and opportunity to truly do so.

Opportunities for New Leadership

New Angles has always seen the profound challenges of sustainability as the responsibility of business – and for many companies a massive business opportunity. In a crisis where many things remain uncertain, the necessity of moving forward by changing our structures of power and business now for the long term becomes clear to many. As the global community faces this challenge, each through their own perspective and experience, those of us with the privilege of staying in the comfort of our homes are obligated to step up as leaders in rethinking the way that we move forward to create a future that works better for everyone.

We have been given a chance to slow down — to rethink our models of business and leadership to accelerate sustainable change. We are compelled to look inward and reexamine our own actions, business and governance models. Transition and transformation are no longer nice-to-have options. We are all in positions to lead. We are all in positions to pioneer innovation and impactful change. We are all being called to act for our collective future.

Time for business model overhaul

The COVID-19 crisis has brought more than a virus to our global community. Along with the drastic governmental measures of intervention in an effort to curb the pandemic have come the closure of many small businesses and huge disruption for many others — leaving our current economic system in a precarious position. Millions of people are worrying about how they are going to get by. However, despite these uncertain times, at New Angles we have cause for hope.

The current atmosphere can serve as an opportunity to highlight the failings of our system, creating space for disruptive innovation and impactful change. As sustainability leaders, we bring together those who should be working together. We focus on radical disruption and the current pandemic is just that — an opportunity to overhaul our systems of business to reflect the world we want to see.

As we seek to transform both our mindsets and business models towards sustainability, it is important to understand just exactly what true transformation entails. Knowing where you fall on your journey towards the integration of change, being equipped with the right tools, and identifying impact pioneers to help you reach your goals is at the heart of the New Angles mission.

Blazing a new trail: prioritizing the Essential

As we push forward towards a brighter future, the priority must be taken with a multi stakeholder view at the forefront. Together, governments, businesses, and grassroots movements must find a way to work with one another to create a system that is people and planet centric, holding the values of equality and opportunity key. We see vividly just how interconnected we all are. What we are living today is redefining our use of the word essential. Our systems of government and industry need to reflect these cognitive shifts, and must be held accountable in their responses for collective purpose.

The social contract we are currently living under is not fit for purpose; it is time to overhaul the system. It’s time to shift our focus to new systems, instead of sustaining the unsustainable. As businesses lose revenue and are forced to lay off employees, the failures of the current system come into focus.

We need to pivot to a new model: one that combines profit with purpose. The two are not mutually exclusive and should not be viewed as such. Rather, it is entirely possible, through impact innovation and sustainable leadership and strategy to reach long term goals in a sustainable and responsible way. Already, we see companies across the globe recognizing the need to include purpose as a pillar — during this crisis and hopefully beyond.

Can we move faster to a sustainable future together?

In the past weeks, as well as incredible dedication from medics and paramedics we’ve seen carbon emissions decrease, communities come together to support one another in innovative ways, citizens volunteering to pick farm crops, and governments freeing up huge budgets to protect their citizens. It is clear that our actions have wider-reaching impact than we necessarily imagined. This affects us all, and this is exactly why a multi stakeholder approach is necessary.

Many global companies have already committed to UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 17 – Global Partnership. Through our work with our partners and clients, at New Angles we’ve already seen firsthand how collaboration leads to transformative change — the type of change that our planet is currently requiring us to make. We find ourselves in a defining moment to reimagine civilization.

This global interconnectedness and interdependence is why we at New Angles have even more stubborn optimism and renewed commitment to transitioning to a new system that works for us all: a purpose-driven, regenerative approach to business that guides the world towards a new equilibrium.