Silver Linings Amidst a Global Pandemic

It’s November and U.S. Thanksgiving is approaching. Given the nature of this holiday, it’s a good time to step back and consider all that we have to be thankful for despite the unfortunate state of a world battling COVID-19.

Thanksgiving itself is a unique holiday. It is purely secular in nature and in my few years living in the United States, I really came to appreciate the ability to take a break and enjoy relaxing time with my family. In fact, when my family and I returned to Japan we continued with this holiday tradition with our Japanese and American colleagues.

Here at Amino and 24i, we’ve been focused on keeping spirits up both within the companies and externally, for our partners and customers. We know everything is different. We’re working remotely. We spend a lot of time on conference calls and video calls. We are learning to communicate more effectively in business and at home. We are checking in with each other more thoughtfully. So, what are some of our silver linings? What are we thankful for?

We are inspired by the positive spirit and attitude of our entire team. While we’re still working hard, we’ve recognised the importance of being a little silly. We’ve played musical bingo together online (the battle for the inflatable banana was intense!). We’ve created music videos (still the most ‘liked’ post ever on my personal LinkedIn!). We’ve sent gift baskets and exercise gear to all of our employees around the globe, and we provide online meditation and yoga classes to help our employees stay centered.

We have engaged in our communities. Helping locally with charities that mean something personally and through our “Pay it Forward” campaign offering a small gift to those that we believe need it more than ourselves.

We are finding that time spent at home has allowed us to reinforce family bonds, enjoy our weekends (really, not driving to the airport is amazing!) and make time for exercise, hobbies and other interests that had been lost in the daily shuffle of pre-COVID life. We have a new appreciation for time itself.

But it doesn’t stop there. We are appreciative of our strategic partners that help us fulfill customer orders. Together with our partners we have created gift packages to stay in touch with our customers – just to let them know we are thinking about them and that we understand that ALL of our lives have been impacted.  In pursuing these types of activities, we have come to know and appreciate our partners in new ways.

We have found that the disruption that is called COVID has made us uncomfortable, but challenged us to think differently. Without the ability to visit customers, we have had to engage with them in new and thoughtful ways. Our goal is to keep them informed as to every step we’re taking to make sure we deliver what they need, when they need it. We are aware of their concerns for reducing high touch contact with their subscribers and have developed a number of options to help them with those concerns.

We have taken the opportunity to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. It is eye opening. It is thought provoking. It has allowed our creativity to shine. As we enter this holiday season, we are thankful to all of our professional colleagues for their continued support, energy, patience, and encouragement.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Donald McGarva,
Group Chief Executive Officer