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  • Writer's pictureNanang Chalid

Being There

Disruption, accelerated.

Living with disruption has become the most important reality we all need to face, every day. This is the realization that I personally feel in the last several months. In my case, a sharp U-turn due to the global economic shift has taken its toll. Although there are always winners as the economics take different turns, the numbers of losers are also massive. In the Tech industry I am working for, the 180-degree turns on the investment climate drive many tech companies changed their direction from a growing mode into a survival mode, which probably is the biggest disruption that any Tech organization has ever experienced.


One of the biggest areas that got impacted because of major disruption is the Trust. In the last several months, most of where we belong in both our personal and professional space have struggled to redefine where it is heading as the world changes. In taking different steps to manage these disruptions, many tough choices need to be made by families and companies that force people to change their everyday habits and ways of working as they adapt to new circumstances.


In a personal space, we hear stories about how families are adjusting back to the new realities of work. As the world has ‘come back to work’, most workplaces leveraging the post-pandemic world to recoup postponed/stagnant business growth during the pandemic years by running top gears and changing their work policies from working from home to collaborating face-to-face intensively by returning to the office. Such a work policy shift has changed the family dynamic — and every family needs to redefine how roles are played in their everyday lives.

For a family with working parents that relied on the assumption that working from home was the 'new normal' during pandemic years of 2020-2022 had even forced to make a tough decision of finding right jobs that offered a ‘working from home’ perks as they couldn’t adapt to the post-pandemic world's working from office culture.

For the unfortunate ones who work in a heavily-disrupted industry (i.e., Tech), major restructurings that happened in the last 12-months have even made their roles redundant. Living with severance, finding new jobs, and adapting roles within the family dynamics have been disrupted days in the life of a working-parent family. Without underestimating dozens of other scenarios, one thing we need to ‘wake up’ from is the moment of truth that every family faces unique problems and hardships in various forms, and we need to be mindful of that.


In a professional space, there is not one single business Leader I’ve met that has not spoken about the degree of changes they need to deal with as the VUCA (volatility, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world continues to shift in a rate that just getting faster, and faster. As an example, a changing customer landscape where consumers can easily now switch online-and-offline marketplace easily has challenged a long-trusted idea of Customer Loyalty (or, whether it has ever been exists?). The long-standing concept of “if you are running a business with a significant ‘barrier to entry’ (Porter’s Five Forces framework) would help you enjoy dominant position in the market” has also changed, as your business toughest competitors has now born not from your usual competitors and peers, but an entirely new player who diversifying out of their core business.


Digitalization of the world has brought down any walls you could have imagined, and it's a truly an open world where anything can happen to anyone.


Digitalization of the world has brought down any walls you could have imagined, and it’s a truly an open world where anything can happen to anyone.

Trust, receded.

Not only ideas that you have trusted for so many years have proven to become less and less relevant in today’s world (as shown in the above examples), but words that are being said by trusted figures are also difficult to 'hold on' to. Not because these trusted figures have an ill intent to lie and betray you, but simply because in the world we are living in, things changed beyond their control. I empathize with these good-intent Leaders who have their hands tied when storms that are out of their radar hit them, hence we see so much distrust and complaints coming their way that has been very overwhelming for them too.

Having such a difficult ‘moment of truth’ would make even the most confident Leaders start to doubt themselves. And this is where the risk of self-doubting might hamper a Leader’s ability to make effective and the right decisions since he/she has started to overthink various scenarios that might happen out of so many options, which slows decisions. Decisions are the lifeblood of an organization: no decision is a worse outcome than a bad decision.

Leading has become the most challenging thing to do in today's exponential VUCA world.


More Human, desperately needed.


As a human resources professional, a call to action I have made to myself knowing the new realities we have all to live in, is by simply be there for people who are important — both in personal and professional space. Being there, being human, in a truest and literal meaning by simply being present in the moment of need for other people.


I would invite all of us to also do the same: by simply being human when we are around another human being.

I would invite all of us to also do the same: by simply being human when we are around another human being.

Be there and become a listening ear to your spouse, children, best friends, team members, your managers, and help them by showing empathy and letting them know that they are not alone in this difficult time.


Theresa Whitman, a nursing scholar, says empathy is “Feeling with People” (watch this insightful video about her thoughts in Brene’s Brown TED talks shorts). We might don't have to have all the answers, but simply by being there, it helps. We will also feel that we ourselves are not alone, if we happen to also struggles with how the world changed by offering our ears to listen in the first place.


Let's be there for others, and we can get through difficult times together.

Reaching out and being there is the most humane support we can do during difficult times. Lets be more human.

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