First of all, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe. In times like these, it is so much clearer what is really important in life.
In many parts of the world, our generation has never experienced anything like the times we are experiencing now. A pandemic threatening the lives of millions. A black swan appearing from no-where and radically changing people’ lives within just weeks. Something completely unexpected changing our daily routines, our ways of working, our economic environment and temporarily depriving people in our western democracies of some of our very basic rights.
The world changes. Change is fast. Change will never be as slow as it is today. We all knew about change. But we had no idea of the sudden and dramatic effect that the Covid-19 outbreak would have on each and every one of us, on our communities and on our businesses.
Yet times like these also open opportunities. In times like these our values are being tested. In times like these we have the opportunity to really show what we stand for. The things we experience in times like these can bring us together.
In times like these we need our friends and turn to people we trust. In times like these we establish trustful relationships that may last for decades.
As trusted advisors, with the ambition of thinking ahead, times like these may show us how well we’ve succeeded. Sustainable legal advice should stand the test of not only time but also changed circumstances. In the drafting of contracts, the challenge is not how it will hold up when all circumstances remain unchanged. It is change that makes things tricky. And as lawyers and advisors, we should be experts in the unexpected.
We all should know how the world works. We all should know that we will inevitably face unknown challenges. We can always be certain that we will meet the unknown. And when the world changes, our values, commitments, undertakings and rules are all put to a test. It is in times like these that we can learn about thinking ahead.
I do hope that your business is not suffering too badly. And I do hope that you have advisors you trust to help you navigate through these unchartered waters. Right now we all need to be prepared for a number of different scenarios. Right now, we really need to be thinking ahead.
Despite all the ugly sides of this crisis, we at D&I have decided that it is also an opportunity. It is an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our clients. It is an opportunity to get to know them better and to gain a deeper understanding of their businesses. It is an opportunity to invest in important relationships.
But it is also an opportunity to show what we stand for. It is an opportunity to really let our values guide us. And it’s an opportunity to learn how important our culture of working together is. How the brightest ideas are born in the interaction between brilliant and ambitious professionals, even when they sit physically isolated from each other. And it is an opportunity to really learn how to make use of all the technologies available to us.
This is the second editorial I’ve written for this edition of our D&I Quarterly. I was very excited about the first one I just recently wrote at the office. But Covid-19 changed the world and my first editorial no longer felt right. This version I’m writing from my quarantine hiding, far away from the office. Once I’m done I’ll go and hang around our virtual coffee machine on-line, to see my colleagues and hear their latest stories and experiences.
In times like these, you learn to value also the small and ordinary things in life.