As a Professor at the prestigious Jack Welch Management Institute, a pioneer in the online education space and home to one of the world’s top-ranked online MBA programs, I, too, am concerned about everyone’s current health challenges and wonder what the future brings as we all work remotely.
Working remotely is not a new idea. Many have practiced it for years. The difference is, most did it part-time. You worked from home, visited clients, had off-site meetings, but the majority of your time was spent in the office with your team. What has changed is that you are now working from home full-time.
Everyone is adjusting, balancing their work engagement and productivity with their family responsibilities. In this new environment, we must concern ourselves with over-communicating, telepresence, time management, staying productive, knowing when to “log-out,” maintaining our health, and sustaining our workplace community.
An Entrepreneurial Opportunity
This crisis, as in all emergencies, might have a silver lining. It might just push us quicker to invent a more efficient test for the coronavirus, a more rapid test for antibodies, and eventually a cure with a vaccine, all innovations that will save lives. But at the same time, it could be an entrepreneurial opportunity for business-minded professionals to observe a deficiency in our society that could be solved.
Henry Kaiser was an American Industrialist who, in World War ll, became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. His company helped build the Hoover dam and was one of the first companies to initiate corporate health insurance. He had a philosophy that he followed, “Find a Need and Fill It,” a saying that is extremely relevant today.
Now is the time to think about our current business environment and look for needs. Use your entrepreneurial mind and see what presently needs changing and how to alter and rebuild it for the future. What can you deliver better than in its current form? What void can your idea fill?
Now is the time to do what Henry Kaiser, Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos all did; they came up with an idea to improve people’s lives. Think about how your concept could: improve on remote working, reduce office space expenses, innovate medical treatments, allow us to vote more efficiently, improve healthcare delivery, upgrade our communities, or improve processes in your company.
As Chairman & CEO of General Electric (GE) from 1981–2001, Jack Welch’s leadership qualities helped increase the revenue of the company fivefold. Fortune Magazine named him “Manager of the Century.” He combined strategic insights with managerial innovations. In his book Winning he spoke about innovation: “one of the most exhilarating things about being in business is starting something new from inside something old—launching a product line or service, for example, or moving into a new global market.”
Now is your moment to look at the present and think about the future. Find a need and fill it.
Dr. Robert Edwab earned his MBA at the Jack Welch Management Institute at the age of 65. He is still employed full-time as the executive director of the Greater New York Dental Meeting, one of the largest healthcare conventions in the United States and is also an Associate Professor teaching “Business Communications and Executive Presence” at JWMI.
Welch, Jack & Suzy, (2005), Winning, HarperBusiness.