Angela Walker – March 2020
The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride like no other that I have experienced. As a business owner, I have vacillated between optimism, fear, grief and overwhelm. And there is no point in mincing the reality of what we are all facing. Finding ways to ensure our business continues to operate seamlessly while also employing social distancing and work from home arrangements for our team has required our leadership to flex in ways we did not even contemplate three or four short weeks ago. And while things have been hard – really hard – every challenge also brings positives:
1. Technology is our greatest tool and asset. Mobilizing Zoom (or similar technologies like Skype) are critical. While we, as a firm, started using Zoom for meetings prior to this pandemic we certainly were not maximizing its applications. Now we are and I am confident this will remain a permanent improvement to how we do business.
2. The power of connection cannot be understated. Our team continues to connect for Zoom huddles each morning to review the workflow on our plates, contemplate new ways to do things, identify pitfalls we are facing, and develop solutions to problems. Even in this time of social distancing we are using the power of teamwork to meet the needs of our clients. And to stay connected to each other.
3. It’s a great time to dig into those projects that will propel our business to the next level when this pandemic is over. It is time to harness creative ideas and explore how we can do business differently and better to maximize efficiencies for our clients and our teams. Now is the time for all those projects, or continuing education, that you just “never get around to”.
4. Opportunities have emerged to do business differently. Our firm has been committed to developing and expanding our alternative dispute resolution services and there is no time like the present. With the shut down of most services at the Courts, our clients and the public still require assistance to bring their matters to conclusion. We are equipped, ready and able to resolve disputes by using Zoom to mediate and arbitrate issues that individuals are struggling to resolve on their own.
5. People still need us! As family and personal injury lawyers, our guidance and advice remains critical for our clients. COVID 19 has brought with it a whole onslaught of new legal issues from how to manage parenting plans, to how to alter support arrangements in light of layoffs and how to manage treatment for recovery from injuries when most treatment facilities are closed. In this time of uncertainty, one of our greatest roles as lawyers is to provide as much certainty as we can to our clients.
As Michael Jordan said: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”