I’m writing to let you know that I’ve been thinking about each of you – and the entire LRN community – as we together face the global and rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic. As we’ve affirmed many times at LRN, we are a mission with a business and not a business with a mission. It is with this in mind that I’ve been so encouraged by all the ways David and the entire leadership team have been thoughtfully considering LRN’s response through the lens of our mission, values and all that we stand for, prioritizing, of course, guidance for staying safe and healthy. I’ve been inspired by all the ways we’ve stayed in close communication and collaborated as one global team as we’ve responded and adapted, day by day, to these unfamiliar times and challenges – particularly how we’ve been navigating the tensions of being there for our partners as they lean on us, the sense that the epidemic has underscored that our solutions matter more than ever, along with, most importantly, staying healthy ourselves and caring for families and loved ones. That we’ve been forging ahead in this way as we’ve shifted to working remotely and, I know, as we’re naturally wrestling with fears and anxieties as individuals is a source of great hope and inspiration for each of us. It certainly is for me.
I thought I’d also share some of the following initial reflections. Clearly this is a crisis that we can’t possibly yet fully appreciate or understand. It is a global pandemic that is already, even if not yet at its peak, taking a huge toll on people, particularly the most vulnerable and at risk populations. It is, day by day, changing our way of life and how our communities, societies and organizations function. It’s clear to me too that the Coronavirus is going to impact business monumentally – and, also, I believe in ways we have yet to imagine. The unintended and unimagined consequences will likely unfold exponentially. What’s certain is that our global interdependence – that more than ever we rise and fall together – has been revealed, illuminated and amplified. How we behave, operate, govern, relate to people and communities will matter more than ever – and we how we lead will matter greatly as people in times of crises naturally look to authorities and those in charge in government and business for truthful answers, wise guidance, courageous action and inspired hope.
This is also our first social media crisis where understandable fears and panics spread instantly and widely. But so do also the examples of people embodying what is best about us as humans – our capacity to love, to hope, to care, and to act ethically and responsibly. We – LRN – have a unique role to play in helping how best to inform and infuse organizations, and animate their people, with deep human values and principles. This unprecedented health crisis challenges everyone’s capacities to be at their best, and to act as we are in this together, especially when we are rightly being required to isolate from others. So, it won’t surprise you to hear me say that I believe that how organizations and their leaders react and respond – right now -- will reflect what they value and their values, and reveal the depth of their relationships, connections, and commitments to their communities and people.
I’ve heard from many of you with news of travel bans, sheltering in place, and family strains. We’ve long endeavored to be self-governing at LRN, and I know you will do whatever it takes to make the right decisions for yourself and your family, your teammates, and the company (in that order). The entire LRN board and I are deeply concerned for you and your families, and are committed to doing what it takes to keep LRN strong, vibrant, and healthy. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me – or any member of the LRN leadership team – if we can be of any help to you in the days and weeks to follow.
Let’s let compassion move us, and our commitment to doing the right thing guide us. Above all, take good care of yourselves and your loved ones. Stay healthy.
All my best, and with gratitude,