Bad Times & the Best in People

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company and the author of Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways shared some great examples of how bad times have brought out the best in people and organizations.

“It’s easy to look around and see how the Covid-19 crisis has brought out the worst in some people,” Taylor wrote. “But such irresponsible behavior, I believe, is more the exception than the rule. Time and again, individuals and communities have demonstrated that the worst situations tend to bring out the best in people and the organizations to which they belong.”

Taylor goes on to cite a moving example of “business heroism” that took place in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina, and noted how, in the long run, it helped not only the victims but also the organization and people who “stepped up.”

The article also references the book A Paradise Built in Hell, in which writer Rebecca Solnit “studied impromptu, spontaneous, bottom-up responses to some of the world’s worst natural and man-made disasters — deadly earthquakes in San Francisco and Mexico City, the Halifax Explosion of 1917, the September 11 attacks.”

“The history of disaster,” she writes, “demonstrates that most of us are social animals, hungry for connection, as well as for purpose and meaning.”

Some compelling stories and, possibly, good reasons to reach out to colleagues, employees, customers, extended family and others during this difficult time to share empathy, encouragement and, should they be in need, support.

Read the full article…