3 Pre-COVID19 Ted Talks More Relevant NOW, Than Ever Before

Article by Martyn Jones | 25th March 2020

To say ‘what a strange few weeks’ would miss the mark by some way.

It’s odd to think of recent developments in ‘future of retail’, before recent events that have knocked us all for six. The phrase ‘future of retail’ itself takes on different meaning and asks new questions in the emerging context.

Taking a break from the headlines, I dug up a some ‘pre-covid19’ Ted Talks that struck me as suddenly more relevant than when they were filmed.

They remind us that we’ve got the knowhow to navigate this and we can find that knowhow in those that have already been thinking of approaches to potential crises like the one that’s unfolding.

From 2016
How to build a
 business that lasts 100 years
Martin Reeves – Director of the BCG Henderson Institute.

Now is a time to value our immune systems more than ever.

Drawing on eye-opening statistics of shrinking average corporate lifespans, Martin Reeves takes inspiration from the human immune system to explain six principles from living organisms that can help build long-lasting resilience and make today’s business world more resistant to change.


Free Guidance for U.K business
A useful website for UK businesses looking for the right advice on how networks and individuals can support the country’s emergency planning, response and recovery, to keep systems and services running.

Link: Resilience in society: infrastructure, communities and businesses

From 2015
We need to turn our
response to crisis inside-out

Shalini Unnikrishnan – Member of US Board Directors of the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative.

The Ebola crisis of 2014-16 brought havoc to African lives and economies. At its peak, the recovery process wasn’t even close to going to plan. In her impassioned talk, Shalini Unnikrishnan appeals to leaders, scientists, policy makers and diplomats to respond to the next pandemic with focus on the people it impacts rather than the virus that spreads the disease. The next pandemic is here now and Shalini’s observations are more relevant than ever. Businesses large and small can also learn the lessons now in this moment of action.

Transmit Startups
Advice for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis

“Transmit Startups have supported over 6,000 people to start their own business and our thoughts are with every single one of you during this unprecedented situation. 

We’re sure you’re looking for help and information, so we’ve rounded up everything we can find and consulted our team to give you some ideas of how to handle the coming weeks and months.”

Download Link: Transmit Startups
Advice for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis

From 2015
Treating employees as thoughtfully as customer
Diana Dosik – Principal at the New York office of Boston Consulting Group.

The still-unfolding events that have pulled the carpet out from under people’s feet requires critical thinking and decision-making about conflicting factors and priorities. Businesses have often pursued ‘doing the right thing for customers’ as the priority. Diana Dosik’s 2015 presentation on investing the same attention in employees can today remind us of the debt of gratitude we owe to people in every corner of operations for the tireless work they do to keep things on the rails, and the importance of showing proper recognition.


From The Guardian:
The undervalued heroes of the coronavirus crisis
need our thanks – and our support.

“Thank yous are too often implied. They get casually dumped in a box labelled “take it as read”, presumed too self-evident to be publicly stated. Sometimes they’re expressed through a knowing nod or a smile, or – before our current plight, of course – a gently squeezed hand clasp. In normal times that’s not really good enough, and in a time of mounting catastrophe, it definitely isn’t.”
Owen Jones, The Guardian

Full Article: Here

These insightful speakers should remind us of the pragmatic advice we give ourselves in times of normality and continuity. We should take the time to listen to this kind of advice to make sure we’re not making costly errors of judgement and making the right moves with clear heads. This will pass and industry will dig in its heels to pull itself out of as tight spot, as it has many times before.

But our recovery will mean nothing if we’re not able to get through as a unit because our success as individuals and groups depends on keeping everyone in all corners connected and healthy.

Stay connected

Connect with the author Martyn Jones