On the other side

Being a design consultancy, Zenit Design talks to many different stakeholders at various companies in a multitude of businesses and I, Johanna Wretling Stadler, COO, has had extra big ears these past three months. 

Talking to different organisations and businesses the shift around Covid-19 has proven to be a game changer in so many ways. This is already known. But what changes will remain? What has opened our eyes and will play a large role in the future ‘new normal’? Have organizations become braver due to this, or more anxious?

Traditions and routines are hard to break when deeply involved in daily work as we usually don’t even think about them or; do think about them and then tend to believe they are the guiding light that cannot be questioned. But when faced with a new situation I often feel like it is the perfect time to evaluate how things actually are and if it is time to stir things around. Everything might be working fine but perhaps there are actually better ways of going about things.

Organisations have faced a myriad of challenges but they have also seen opportunities for the future in the ways they have redone things. 

At the Design School at LTH there are many positives that the Corona restrictions have contributed to. The possibility of getting guest speakers and juries to lecture and participate online makes budgets much easier to be kept as people don’t have to be flown in. Colleagues and students that previously had had the notions of digital being hard, have softened up and now embrace the possibilities. When talking to LTH *titel* Charlotte Sjödell, she tells me about her starting to produce video material which she previously did not. 

Lecturing isn’t any longer interrupted by students coming in too late - and the ones regularly late are now easier on time. Not commuting is not only saving time but annoyment as well.

For the future Charlotte sees the possibilities to keep giving students more tutoring online and inviting guest speakers, even though the evaluation is still that teaching is best done face to face and that designing is still very tactile. However, why not air some of the lecture online as well.

Similar to the experiences at LTH, the positive outcomes that BoKlok has made possible due to Covid-19  has been an eye opener and a superpower getting itself noticed. BoKlok, building company providing homes for ordinary people, is a fast moving organization who has been forced into cooperating over distances recreating their sales process. Magdalena Stadler works in Communication and she speaks about the new strength she and her coworkers see in themselves for being able to cope, quote: “- We have had to rethink our entire sales process. Previously we at BoKlok were unique in the way we set up meetings with all our customers, guiding them through the process of buying a home. We’ve had to rethink all that as meeting in person no longer was an option. Now we have a completely online based sales process, keeping customers in the loop without them missing out on important information.” 

At CellaVision Dennis Hovstadius and Karin Sandström tell me about how work has actually become more defined. “- Our tasks are fewer but more concrete and with a clearer purpose”, Karin says. They presume management has had the time to reflect and consolidate. Karin and Dennis reflects on their own personal creativity that unfortunately might have decreased a bit along with their speed, quote: “- Seeing our colleagues and meeting in person is a huge motivational factor for us. This period has been quite demanding but it has actually, on the other hand, contributed to a feeling of compassion and empathy. People feel genuine concern and when asking how you are, they actually care about the answer. “

No one can fully imagine what will come later, where the aftermath to Corona will stage us. Time will tell but personally I believe that the most positive outcomes will be seeing the compassion and strength in people around you and the organisations. In knowing you are both able and brave in innovating and reviewing your processes and services.

June 25, 2020
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