Friends,

Welcome to the first edition of Mac! Mac is a new monthly dispatch from Gagen MacDonald that delves into what we’re seeing in the world, learning through our client work, and thinking about the issues that will shape the future of employee-employer relationships. There is so much content in circulation, it can be hard to choose what to read. Yet for all the newsletters that exist, none hones in on the nexus of business transformation, the future of work, and the human struggle of change. Mac is for those of us who are passionate about the places where these topics collide. Our goal with it is to further our growth as individuals and organizations.

Today, we’re at an important juncture. Working amid the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer new, but it’s not normal either. We have a choice. Either we can slog forward, eking the best effort we can out of people while we all wait for a vaccine; or, we can seize the moment. We can embrace the hidden opportunities afforded by this extraordinary set of circumstances in order to transform fundamental aspects of who we are and how we operate.

In April, I had a conversation with a friend that I’ll never forget. She told me that it had taken her company five years to formulate a plan to allow employees the option to work remotely up to two days a week. In early March, they were set to announce this seemingly seismic policy change. Two weeks later, COVID intervened. Today, all of their corporate employees work from home five days a week, and they’ve managed to adapt.

We are capable of bigger, faster, and bolder change than we think.

This pandemic has challenged us, and we’re feeling the effects. Anyone who doesn’t concede the toll it has taken is lying. But there’s a window to drive big change, and it won’t be open forever. We need to cultivate our personal and collective resilience and embrace the chance to drive transformation. With norms shattered, everything is on the table. If we try to lead by “waiting it out,” by the time a vaccine arrives, we could find our businesses left behind. I strongly suspect that those who dive in boldly will move fastest and furthest. I hope this first edition of Mac gives you some new ways of thinking about how to build resilience and take advantage of the opportunities that exist in this turbulent time.

Best,

Maril