A few weeks ago, we ran this podcast from Praxis. In case you missed it, you can go back and listen, or read their article on the same topic here: Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization is Now a Startup.
This is the follow-up, a look at the long-term effects of what we’re now facing, what the authors call “winter” and a “little ice age.” Here’s a summary of the key terms:
- Blizzard: You can’t go out – zero visibility and hostile conditions. Need to shelter.
- Winter: You can go out, but not for long. Wear protective clothing and check the forecast for storms. Need to survive.
- Ice Age: Things don’t grow the way they used to – but we’re finding new ways to live and even to thrive. Need to adapt and rebuild.
As of late April 2020, many organizations (businesses, nonprofits, schools, churches) are struggling mightily to survive the blizzard of viral spread and rolling shutdowns. Many will not survive the arduous winter as social and economic life re-emerges in fits and starts, lacking the assets or the positioning to advance their mission under new constraints.
In Leading Beyond the Blizzard we estimated that 10 percent of organizations are relatively unaffected by COVID-19, 10 percent are responding to unprecedented opportunity, and the remaining 80 percent “find themselves with a strategic and operating playbook – primarily in terms of product offering, business model, and team structure – that simply does not translate in the likely conditions of the blizzard, the winter, and the little ice age.”
How are Christians, a people of good news, to respond? The creative potential for hope and vision is unparalleled right now. But, paradoxically, this creativity will only be fully available to us if we also make space for grief and lament.