As you probably know, it’s been a tough time here in Houston, Texas due to Hurricane Harvey. First and foremost, my biggest concern is obviously the safety of our people, and my heart goes out to all the families and businesses who were affected. We’re starting to recover, and I’ve been thinking about some things as this disaster unfolded. So today we’re going to look though four takeaways from Harvey that can apply to both our personal and business lives. Let’s get started:
1. Significance of community. We’re seeing unison here in Houston like never before. It is amazing to watch everyone band together in the face of crisis. Communities of every type—faith-based ones, neighborhoods, and of course business communities, are all coming together to help each other out. This just goes to show how important community is. The same could be said about your own business. What kind of work culture do you need to cultivate and strengthen? What kind of network should you build and reach out to? Your business is its own community that you helped create, so take some time to think about how it’s doing, as well as if you can improve it in any way.
2. Ability to adapt. During Harvey, each of us had our own plan to weather the storm. But things changed, and we had to adjust as those changes occurred. We have some family who are staying with us because they had to evacuate their home on short notice, even though that wasn’t the original plan. There were about seven or eight different paths that they tried to take in order to get here, and nearly all of them were impassable. Fortunately, they were able to make it in the end. What I’m saying is that we must always have a plan, and we should adjust it if/when the situation changes. That was significant during Hurricane Harvey, and it’s still significant now in our everyday lives, both in a personal and business sense.
3. Communication is vital. During the hurricane, communication became more important than ever before. Our world has changed, and social media has given us a way to communicate with each other instantly. People who were in danger got rescued because they posted their situations on social media. Lives were saved because of how quickly messages could reach those who were in a position to help. It’s truly amazing how far technology has advanced over the years. So how about we take the opportunity to get better at communicating when it comes to our business? Is there something we need to do differently? Maybe going forward, the speed or manner with which we communicate needs to change.
4. We are all connected. Nowadays, things happening on the other side of the globe can affect us here in the USA. Events have a reach that’s far beyond just those who are directly affected. Same thing happened in Houston during the storm. People who weren’t in any immediate danger tried to evacuate and ended up causing bad traffic, thus making it harder for others to get out of their flooded homes. What we do affect everyone else. This doesn’t always have to lead to a bad outcome. It’s just what it is. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that what you do, both as a business owner and a human being in general, matters. We’re all connected in that what you choose to do can cause a ripple effect throughout your community. Your business could create the jobs necessary to make a neighborhood flourish. You might offer a service that speeds up hurricane recovery efforts. And so on. Try to see the big picture of how what you do on a daily basis is affecting everyone else, whether in a good or bad way.
So those are the four key takeaways from Harvey. I know my blog posts may feel a little less succinct as of late, since I wrote them in the midst of a disaster. Still, I encourage you to take action on this, and continue to support and pray for everyone in Houston.