Coronavirus: How Prepared Are We and How This Is a Huge Lesson on CHANGE





Coronavirus has become such a viral phenomenon. It is bringing back many memories for some of us for those who could remember the 'SARS' days. It has been a week since we came across the first case of Coronavirus was identified in Singapore. Surgical and N95 masks started going off the shelves. Everyone started using their hand sanitisers a lot more. Social media started flooding with images and guides on how one can practise better hand hygiene and the correct way to wear a mask. By the time the 2nd and 3rd cases started rolling in, Singapore has expanded temperature screening to land and sea checkpoints.  


When the 7th case was identified, authorities announced that they would stop any Hubei-issued passport holders and all entry and transit for new visitors who have travelled to Hubei in the recent past 2 weeks. 


Singapore takes pride in always being prepared for the worst-case scenarios. In 2003, the world went through chaos when 'SARS' infiltrated our plaque ridden world. SARS terrified most of us as we were not ready for the attack of such a viral epidemic. It took the lives of many. However, this taught Singapore to be more vigilant and to be prepared.  


With the Coronavirus pandemonium uprising, more intense efforts are in the pipeline and Singapore would implement in per the severity of the global challenge. Authorities also encouraged the citizens to continue about their daily lives with vigilance and calmness.  


HOW DID SINGAPORE HANDLE THIS CRISIS WITH GRACE? 

Change is truly the only constant in this VUCA world. As such, there needs to be a pressing need to be ready for the worst-case scenarios. Being ranked 24th in global health index level of preparedness for a major infectious disease outbreak meant that there is a certain level of preparedness for any outbreak. By ever-evolving, we have gained more insights and adopted new initiatives to prevent the spread of the outbreak and even if we do encounter an outbreak like this Wuhan Virus, the right measures would come into effect.  


By embracing the change, the Singapore Government has taken a proactive approach. As of 30th January, Singapore would distribute 4 surgical masks to each household. This is an example of an initiative to embrace change.  


Likewise, in our corporate world, we are always going to be challenged with many changes such as market fluctuations, restructuring of the organisation and so on. By being ready for any change, we, leaders, are embodying proactiveness and readying our mindset for change. 


With this mindset, change is not something to be feared but tackled with our best armour and arsenal. If we are waiting for something to happen but do not do anything about it, we will be taken aback and get hit by the wave of emotions and resistance from the different levels of the organisation. 


A Quote To Inspire Leaders,


“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” 

—Warren Buffett"

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