Have you ever considered that a mouse just might handle the 2020 pandemic better than a human? Though he doesn’t use those exact words, that is just what Spencer Johnson suggests in the business classic Who Moved My Cheese. In this book, we learn a valuable lesson about being flexible. The author uses the metaphor of cheese in a maze to give us insight into our own behaviors. The scenario is this: two mice and two “littlepeople” live in a maze. They find cheese at one location in this maze and live a life of contentment existing off this cheese. But one day, the cheese is no longer there. The mice run off back into the maze in search of cheese at another location while the littlepeople, Hem and Haw, choose other behaviors that, in short, make them miserable and do not allow them to find any more cheese.
Dealing with change
Covid-19 has presented many of us with a similar situation. Changes in our society and business expectations have amounted to a big change in many of our personal lives and businesses. No one asked for these changes, and yet we face them daily. But these changes have provided an opportunity to gain insight as well. Undoubtedly Covid-19 has brought challenges to both individuals and our society as a whole. But it has also brought new opportunities for those who are willing to look for them. (In other words, look for the cheese in another place in the maze.) We can be like the outraged littlepeople in the maze who no longer have their cheese, or we can make a different choice, accept the situation as it is and move on to greater opportunities both in our personal lives and our businesses. One opportunity for many businesses is moving one ore more aspects of their business online, that is creating a virtual business.
Virtualizing your business
For many companies, virtualizing their business has meant online sales, and that is a wonderful way to virtualize your business. There are many benefits to online sales including lower overhead, more accessibility to shoppers, and easier monitoring of what is most popular with customers.
But virtualizing your business doesn’t have to start and stop with an online shopping cart. There are lots of creative ways to take your business and make it available to people in the virtual world. Here we would like to highlight one business that we work with at 2 Acres, ISAAC. Below you will see some ways ISAAC has creatively addressed the challenges that they have faced as a result of Covid-19.
ISAAC’s Virtual March
“I have a dream…when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’” Do you recognize the words? These famous proclamations were made by Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. As you probably already know, King was perhaps the most iconic figure in the civil rights movement. He spoke passionately and worked tirelessly for equality during the 1960s. His famous speech was part of the march on Washington where 250,000 people gathered to protest the injustices in our nation.
Unfortunately, injustice continues despite the efforts of King and others. Racial tensions continue to rage in our nation. And as part of activists’ efforts this year, another march on Washington was planned. Our client, ISAAC, is part of this event.
ISAAC is an interfaith organization in Kalamazoo, MI that works toward creating a more just community. Their mission is important. However, concerns for the health and safety of participants at the planned march on Washington are paramount. As a result, ISAAC has created a virtual Journey to Washington.
Rather than be physically present in the march that happened in Washington, participants in the virtual journey to Washington can sign up to “walk” to Washington by registering and then logging their miles online between August 15 and September 20.
The miles aren’t even restricted to walking. Participants can bike, swim, or even dance their miles. With these changes, more individuals will find they are able to participate in the event had they required them to go to the capital and physically walk there.
The event doesn’t stop with logging miles. Participants can also connect with the community by posting online videos of their “why” as well as commenting on the videos of others. This unique component of the virtual walk will enable participants to find connection and community that is not available in a moving crowd. Thus, those logging miles in this “walk” will find a new and beautiful intimacy that they wouldn’t otherwise get, making this event even more meaningful than it might otherwise have been. This is a benefit that we can only see because ISAAC has gone virtual (and creatively so) with their event.
How will you virtualize?
This is just one example of how an organization can accept the changes that we face in 2020 and use it as inspiration to create an even greater experience or product in the virtual world. We hope that this article has no only given you some ideas for how you can make your business virtual. We also hope that it has opened your eyes to look for more creative ways to move your business from the brick and mortar world into the world of technology.
What great ideas has your business used to move from the brick and mortar world into the world of technology?