CEO Blog



Surprising encounters

Anne Marie Forsyth
10/04/2020

One of the lighter aspects of the lockdown has been the opportunity to spy inside the homes of all those being interviewed about the crisis. 

For those who care about image, there are the carefully arranged large bookcases; copies of the Iliad, Jane Eyre or perhaps a few Encyclopaedia Britannica on show - Fifty Shades of Grey, or a Jackie Collins pulse racer hidden out of sight.

Not to mention the clothes horse with drying washing - out of sight! 

I felt for a poor cabinet minister being interviewed this week, like a rabbit in the headlights his camera showed a lovely, large, black smudgy mark on his ceiling - was it a damp patch? A light fitting with no shade finished off the slightly dingy look of his study.

Contrast this with the shiny spotless seemingly huge kitchens where image conscious commentators are pitched - Swedish style minimalist sleek finishes creating an ambience for smooth talking. And of course, the amazing velvet sofas, gorgeous colour schemes - who knew some seemingly ‘dull’ public figures have such lovely taste?

There are endless fun stories about unexpected incidents happening on video calls. I laughed lots at hearing about a friend who was on a call with a representative from a company he interacts with. They’d never met but needed to chat hence the video call. One of their partners popped in with a coffee and came into view with the other party on screen.  Mutual shock as they realised that they were ex husband and wife who hadn’t seen each other for years! 

This whole experience whilst BAU for some is a strange new norm for others. 

We have been holding many collaborative calls with customers over the last 3 weeks. There’s loads of learning and genuine sharing which is helping leaders across all sectors avoid costly errors by taking advantage of others’ experience.

Not everyone wants to or indeed can work effectively from home; a BBC report this week suggested that more than 50% of well-paid professional roles are successfully done at home whilst only 10% of low paid roles can do same. Lots to think about and tackle as we work through this and to plan for the future of work at the other end, when there’s little doubt our economic climate is going to be changed - hopefully not scarred too badly.

CCA Visionaries Programme is ramping up activity with immediate research and comparisons on this topic. This is based on what organisations are actually planning now and for the future - as a result of what’s happening here and now. We are conducting this as a resource for 40 organisations but keen to include wider industry - so get in touch if you want to get on board with this – contact the team for details

The first findings will be released at a virtual session in early May with the expert input of David Smith, Economics Editor of The Times.

In the meantime, I hope you manage to have a relaxing Easter weekend - it’s certainly strange and hugely unsettling times but hopefully we can find solace being with some of those we love. 

And remember to get well prepared if you find yourself on video! 

Take care everyone, 
Anne Marie