It’s Malcolm Dunn from LeadWell Global talking to one of our advisory board members and professor Gerry Bodeker. Gerry is a world renowned expert in public health and particularly in the area of mental health. And Gerry really faced it’s quite a unique situation on a global scale at the moment that we’ve never before encountered. And little bit what we tried to do is to say, what have we learned from this cause Learning in the moment is quite critical. Change is real opportunity to change belief systems, habits. So what have we learned from this that we can really take forward? And I know it’s still in progress, but what have we learned so far do you think?
I think that’s right now it’s still in progress. I don’t think we can quite yet drew a line under what we’ve learned. What are we learning really as we go? Because, obviously the epidemiology is very different in different parts of the world. What is Italy learning? What is Australia learning? Very different mobility and mortality rates. So I think that there are a number of things that where we’re learning. One is that, when we’re living comfortably and well we forget that we’re has breadth away from the bottom falling out of the world. I think that we’re being shown that’s unwise. We think we can predict a trajectory to decline based only on economic trends and political and military trends. And this has shown us that’s not true. So I think that one of the things nation States need to learn and companies need to learn is that we can be just a hair’s breadth away from the bottom falling out of and we need to have plans for that.
Just like a family, or a couple, a responsible parent who would have plans for their will for, you know, unforeseen eventualities. I think we need to extrapolate that personal to the collective, and have that have the worst case scenario there as a possibility this can come back, we can get mutations of this. This is not the first coronavirus that we’ve dealt with it’s called SAARS-2, Ebola is a coronavirus. So we’re seeing a number of these viral episodes becoming more severe, more globalized each time. So we shouldn’t assume that. And this is a, everything’s over and it’s back to normal. It’s not. So I think that’s one thing we need to do is have the security in place that a parent or family would want to have in place for unforeseen eventuality in terms of financial reserves in terms of crisis planning, crisis organization hierarchies and so on.
I think another thing we need to do is understand that from a corporate point of view the well being of the staff of the company, of the personnel is really the well being of the organization. Of course everything pivots on the bottom line. But how does it pivot, how able to call back personnel after a crisis is a company, if it hasn’t placed the well being of the personnel first. So I think that our consciousness of wherein the together you thrive, we thrive, we thrive, we prosper. That kind of thinking I think is really important to embed deeply in corporate DNA. And we’ve seen from the research that companies that prioritize the well being of the employees give them a share in the success of the company, but in the direction that prioritizes their health, they childcare and so on. Those companies do well. And that’s, that’s observable.
Okay. So Gerry, have you seen a bit of a difference in terms of the mindset from a political versus the medical field? So a little bit of nationalism or reductionism from the political leaders shutting down States, nevermind shutting down nations and borders. It was saying to people, cruise liners where you’re off offshore, it’s your problem. So real retreat in that way from political protectionists perspective. And yet from the health one seems to be shares much as you can, as quickly as we can and be very helpful. So I’m wondering about the mindset of the leaders and what we learned from that in terms of collaboration. We’re in this together. How do we solve it collectively? Any thoughts on that?
Well, you know, I’m a public health academic and you know, segregation of populations is first thing you do in an epidemic. So that makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, what that does and has done is trigger deep sort of tribal instincts in our species. And so there’s blame and he could and so on directed at the potential sources of this and then that ping pongs back and forth. Well, it might be a Chinese disease, but in the case of Malaysia, the Malays have gathered, you know, as a religious gathering and they have spread it. And so each side is blaming the other. I think that it brings out the best and the worst, you know, spaces. I think it’d be nice to take the boot has positioned at the middle road and find out what that is. And of course, that’s an inner road. That’s one of finding stability and equanimity within to make clear and balanced decisions. And I think that again, gets back to the consciousness perspective of everybody has to work on throughout their lives on creating a stability, equanimity, mental wellbeing for themselves. For those they’re responsible for be it family or community or company because when the chips are down, that’s what we have to fall back on. Our equanimity, our balance, compassion.
Gerry, that’s just so well put as the individual and the individual leader. We’ve been looking at this concept of quantum leadership, which is really outside in and saying what may be we didn’t notice while we were shifting the niches is that the the hospitals were, were around us and a bit of a wake up call to take a much broader perspective. What is the ecosystem economic as well as from a comment from a cultural perspective and for our leaders to be able to notice that and that requires different mindsets. It’s of being able to say what’s in a broader, collective well being versus just our individuals. Do you think this could lead to a shift of that, but it was, this is probably a potential down the road, different way that we can interact and different level of communication on a global scale.
Well, as you mentioned, I chair the mental wellness initiative of the global wellness Institute and we produced a white paper on mental wellness, which is a free downloadable PDF if anyone wants to get it. And we have some case studies in the of model, examples of corporate wellness, corporate well being that are good reference points. We also have evidence based strategies for developing mental wellness and well being and the science behind them that can be used with confidence by anyone in HR in the C suite to create opportunities for developing mental well being in the corporate team, in the employees. In terms of, is it a wake up call, doubtless a wake up call for all of us at the personal and the collective level. In terms of the quantum leadership and sharing, definitely that’s really important to you.
You’ve seen the China’s sent medical teams over to Italy and straight away they said the reason that there’s this crisis is that nobody’s disciplined. You need to be far more disciplined than this somewhere. They don’t have the authority to create the discipline, but they’re saying you’ve got to be more disciplined if you learn from us. We contained the situation through tough discipline and your folks are still going out and having a cappuccino and strolling in the Piatsa and so on and you’ve got a crackdown hat. No, that mindset like the kind of a warm fuzzy sharing we might look for, but it is really good survival sharing. And in times of crisis, that’s what you want. This is really a wartime footing we’re on. We don’t have warring States, but we are under siege and we have to appropriately go onto a wartime mentality of survival and the sharing has to be in that context. Once we through this, the sharing needs to be in terms of what have we learned. But I think we’re far from being even near the middle of this middle and on the other side to draw those lessons. But I think it’s really important that, again, we start identifying particularly from the corporate wellness point of view, what has been best wellness practice for companies in layoffs, one of the worst case and the best case practices. How have companies been able to support their people even if they haven’t been able to support them financially? How have they been able to help them segue onto, benefit support, setting up mutual support networks among community teams. Have they been able to downscale to some part time work at home? So at least there’s some income. Have they joined industry groups to lobby government to suspend taxation, to suspend mortgage payments and so on.
All of this is making a difference to society. And I think that corporate leadership in this is really important because governments listen to corporations, businesses, the heart page of the economy. And I think engagement with that by companies and sharing of that engagement with the employees, even if they’re no longer on the payroll, just, you know, we’re reaching out to you. You’ve helped us, we’ve been a team. The financials are impossible right now, but the connectedness is there. There’ll be opportunities when this is over for you to return. I think those are the ingredients of a good practice that we need to prepare ourselves to document.
Gerry, thank you so much for that. And sometimes it is good to take stock as we move through it. And that the aspect of taking, noticing the landscape, saying what can we learn? And you some immediate application and what I’m hearing from you is taking care of yourself so you have the equanimity, the personal resolution and perspective to then take care of people around you. And the courage to do that and, and call some of the questions about the broader support you need from the system. So thank you for that. We will put a name to be Global Wellness Institute and also to the wonderful white paper that you produced on mental health and wellness, which is an excellent read. So thank you for that.
Thank you very much. Thank you for doing this. Good work!