“The COVID-19 Crisis” as an Opportunity for Introspection: A Multi-level Reflection on Values, Needs, Trust and Leadership in the Future

By Simon L. DolanMario RaichAnat Garti and Avishai Landau

The current period of misery and even despair surround us. It is perhaps an opportune moment to reflect on our lives and conduct as individuals, families, organizations and society in general. This short reflection has been written by practitioners and researchers who are concerned about values throughout the phases of our lives.   Over the years, we have developed a concept, a methodology and tools to help people understand what is really important in their lives. It is a mirror of the hierarchy of their core values and helps these people align the latter with their day to day activities, and ultimately leads to having a more meaningful and satisfying life.   When the 3E model of values was developed, it was not intended to be applied to an acute, emergency or life-threatening pandemic like we are witnessing nowadays. Based on years of research, the proposal advanced in all our books, articles and speeches around the globe is based on the following assertion: values (and specifically core values) are a far better predictor of our behavior than our needs. Still, we always state that in an emergency context, the understanding of needs (or perceived needs such as survival), will be more impactful to understanding our behavior then values.   This short paper is a first time attempt to examine the applicability of values in conjunction with our needs, to explain behavior and actions of ourselves and our leaders. We also reiterate the important role of the construct of trust, which we often label “the Value of Values” in the etiology of behavior.

In order to do this, the underlying presentation is based on the authors’ previous writings such as Dolan’s 3Es model of the three axes of values, complemented by Garti and Landau’s usage in Families, and Raich et al’s vision of the future. It allows to observe the proactive leadership style and behaviors at different levels ranging from micro settings (individuals, couples, families) to macro settings (organizations, communities-societies and even countries). The Coronavirus pandemic enables introspection across levels, across sectors and across cultures. No doubt that its implications will remain with us for a very long time. So, let’s see what we observe and the lessons that we can already learn.

Let’s begin with understanding the underlying model of values. The triaxial model of values was first introduced in 1997 (Garcia and Dolan, 1997), refined in 2006 (Dolan, Garcia & Richley, 2006) and fully developed and described in 2011 (Dolan, 2011). The model was articulated over the years based on rigorous empirical research and validation in over 20 countries (Dolan et al, 2013).   Since then, the model was coined Dolan’s 3Es triaxial model of values (hereafter 3Es). Multiple scientific papers and thousands of workshops as well as certifications world-wide, lend support to the concept, the methodology and the tools proposed (see recent books: Dolan, 2019, 2020). The essence of the 3Es triaxial model divides the entire universe of values, into three Axes (which are interrelated in a specific configuration).

  • The Economic-Pragmatic Axis (called the Red Axis) embeds values that connect values important to our achievement of specific goals be they individual, couple, family, organization or societal. This axis includes values such as: influence, planning, consistency, resilience, flexibility, productivity, efficiency and the like. The key question is to what extent we know our core values in a conscious manner (as a person) and to what extent we share them as a couple, a family, an organization or a society.
  • The Social-Ethical axis – (called the Blue Axis) embeds values that connect values important to our relationships as individual or as a collective. This axis includes values such as: friendship, honesty, collaboration, family relationships, and the like.
  • The Emotional-Developmental axis (called the Green Axis) embeds values that connect what is important to us as humans or as a collective who seek to keep on learning and developing as well as self-actualizing during our lifetime. This axis includes values such as: initiative, creativity, open-mindedness, joy and the like.

“Values are people´s motivators. For most people they are unconscious motivators. However, in highly successful organizations, or healthy families, each member is aware of their personal values and how these relate to the organization/family value system” – Garti & Dolan (The European Business Review, 2019)

Based on values, culture reengineering processes were developed in organizations and communities and tested in several countries. Since 2010, and following certification of consultants, coaches and leaders, the applications were used in various sectors and contexts ranging from families, sport teams, virtual teams, high tech companies, military organizations, educational settings and many more via a process that we call co-evolution (see for example: Dolan et al, 2018). The accumulated wisdom suggests three sets of conclusions:

1) That the 3Es model of values, and more specifically when we focus on core values, is an asymmetrical model; this means that some axes are more important to individuals or a collective of individuals than other axes.

2) In order to successfully and sustainably navigate throughout the stages of our lives, we need to have a minimum percentage of core values of each of the 3 axes; an absence of a value on any of the axes will not allow us to function well across time as individuals or as a collective.

3) The model can be applied equally to any type of setting or relationship, be it a couple, a family, a team, an organization or a society. The key to having an enjoyable, healthy and productive life depends on our understanding of what is important to us (bring it from the unconscious level or the implicit level to the conscious and explicit level). We must ensure that it is aligned with our definition of “success” and the audience for whom we function (family, team, organization) as well as the extent to which we are aligned and share values with the others with whom we interact (more detail in Dolan, 2020).

Having explained the generic part of the 3Es model, let´s place the Coronavirus event in the middle of the Triaxial model, and examine it from the three angles. This will allow us to introspect on where are we today and how it will affect our lives in the aftermath of the Coronavirus.

Figure 1: The Generic Triaxial model of Values and the Coronavirus crisis

Most people are so busy running so many errands that they have no time to stop and think whether they are doing the right things. We are so used to doing whatever we do, that we really don’t think twice about the “why”. This is especially the case when we are in our comfort zone (Raich & Dolan 2008), or perhaps think that we are eternal. The real reflection occurs when we are in crisis.   Crisis at the individual level (i.e. serious disease, serious accident, sudden loss of a job, marital and/or family breakage, romantic or terrible disappointment and the like). This can also happen at the organizational level (i.e. being denied a top position, closing of a company due to mergers or acquisition or simply declaring bankruptcy).   Now it is occurring at the societal level; in fact, it is occurring at the global level. The Coronavirus is by all accounts the greatest threat to societal order (economic, emotional and ethical) and to personal life in the last 300 years.  

Let’s delve a bit more into the world of values and the Coronavirus but let´s examine it one level at a time.


At the personal level

The Coronavirus crisis is an opportunity for personal soul searching, for analysis and reflection: what have I done today? Did I succeed in whatever I did? What is the true meaning of success to me? How can I strengthen the areas where I feel I am succeeding? What do I want to do differently?

Examine these points through the three axes. What do I want to achieve in my life and how (the Red axis)? Why is it important for me to achieve these things? Is it for emotional-personal reasons? If the answer is yes, then perhaps the leading axis is the green one. Will achieving these things help me with my self-image? If this is the case, it’s important to ask myself why I need to achieve them to reinforce my image. Is it important for me to achieve these things for my own development? Does it fulfill me? If so, the green axis is even more dominant.   By contrast if my reflections center on what is the extent to which I become independent financially or economically so that I will not have to worry about economic survival it´s another angle. Do these goals align with my relationship, with the blue axis, or maybe they are in conflict with them? I should check which axis is more important to me and why. What are the relationships that matter to me and what values lead me when managing them? Am I satisfied with the way I run them? Do I want to do something different?

During this crisis we recommend personal observation which will allow you to accurately understand the core values in each axis and the relationship between the axes. Is one axis intended to help fulfill the values in another? Are the axes in conflict? If so, how can things be managed differently? We recommend using all tools developed to work with the triaxial model to allow this observation (Dolan, 2011, 2020; Garti & Dolan, 2019).

Figure 2:   The Coronavirus and the hierarchy of values at the individual level


At the couple level

The Coronavirus crisis can be an opportunity to examine whether we succeed as a couple. What are the common areas, conversations, mutual support and collaboration that make our couple relationship successful? Where do we succeed and how can it be strengthened? How do we survive as a couple?

In addition, it is an opportunity to examine the values in our relationship that we would like to preserve. What values in the blue axis enhance our relationship and what values are missing? Does our relationship have compassion and cooperation? Do we feel affectionate in our relationship? Is our relationship managed by the value of competitiveness?

On the green axis we will try to examine what are the core values. Are they passion, development, creativity? Are we satisfied with the values in this axis or want to change them?

On the red axis, we recommend exploring how we, as a couple, manage to achieve our marital goals. Are we aligned with our marital goals and the way we achieve them?

Figure 3:   The Coronavirus and the hierarchy of values at the couple level

At the family level

The Coronavirus crisis is also an opportunity to examine the family’s strength, and how and where to strengthen it further. What tools and practices are needed to do that or perhaps create new tools and a more refined-shared family culture. How do we survive as a family?

Let us look at our family culture through the three axes. In the red axis, look at the values ​​that lead us to achieve results. Are we a family whose core values are ordered, perhaps saving? Maybe we are flexible? Do we persevere in what we decide?

In the blue axis, look at how we manage our relationships in the family. Are we patient with each other? Do we tolerate each other? Are we honest? Do we function well and do things together as a family? At the same time, do we allow each family member to preserve and manifest their own uniqueness?

On the green axis look at whether each member feels appreciated in the family. Does everyone feel psychologically safe in the family?

Nowadays, the whole family spends hours together. We recommend sitting down as a family activity and building the family values ​​map. Look at what the family needs to do to make changes and turn the map into a roadmap through which we live as a family. This is a great gift for every family.

Figure 4:   The Coronavirus and the hierarchy of values at the Family level


At the organizational level

Corporations (in the private sector) are there to provide products, services, or solutions, with an end goal to also make money. This is embedded in the mission and vision of the vast majority of all companies. But the question becomes: how much profit do you wish to amass and why? The old paradigm (before the Coronavirus crisis) was that the more the better. It guarantees financial wellbeing to all stakeholders and probably wealth guarantees the long-term survival of the company.   The Coronavirus crisis shows us clearly that this is not the case. When the entire supply chain changes, your past or present economic success does not guarantee survival. The Coronavirus crisis may stimulate a philosophical reflection on why we need organizations/corporations. Do we need organizations to serve people and society, or do we need society (with its capitalistic rules and regulations as practiced today) to serve organizations?   The Coronavirus shows, perhaps, for the first time, that other values seem to be by far more important than economic values; in a crisis situation, health, for example, is by far more important than wealth. Additionally, it is the first time in history (perhaps) that agents in the health profession need to make terrible and difficult decisions about which patients they will try to save and which they will let die given the scarcity of resources. A terrible decision to make. It reflects societal, organizational and individual values that are tied to this most difficult decision. On the positive side, we see a chain of philanthropic activity with a magnitude that would have never occurred prior to the Coronavirus crisis. In this situation, economic considerations are placed lower on the hierarchy.   The contribution to the common need by some of the wealthy people/organizations in the world, shows care, camaraderie and compassion as core values (centered along the social-ethical axis,). Money and resources are channeled towards purchasing protective gear, accelerating research, and providing emergency shelters to the needy.   True, it is done in certain geographic areas where rich corporations operate, but the medium-term benefits will be to society at large. Every day, we hear stories of people like Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, and Amancio Ortega to name a few, who get on the bandwagon with their personal wealth. It is also a time to reflect on issues such as: what is our corporate social responsibility today, and which will we follow after the crisis. Medtronic, with headquarters in Israel, has decided for example, to give away its patent for producing respirators as a solidary act to enable the production of these devices worldwide. This is one of many examples that are being shared daily. Having business policies as usual is not accepted, and more and more organizations attempt to show that they are sensitive to the human needs. They are attempting to be more ethical, equitable, environmentally conscious, gender sensitive, and even more sensitive towards the poor, the sick, the old, the oppressed, etc. Similar considerations can be asked for a societal level which we summarized in Table 1.

Figure 5:   The Coronavirus and the hierarchy of values at the firm/organizational level


Table 1: A synoptic table for the societal level 

On leadership, values and the embedment Spiritual axis

The Coronavirus crisis is also a real test to see how our political leaders manage the crisis. Leadership is all about followership.   The Coronavirus crisis shows the kind of leaders we trust and are willing to follow, and others we are not. It also shows the level of collegiality and the level of obedience. The Coronavirus crisis shows how the state manages the delicate balance between achieving efficient results (avoiding high rate of mortality) and intruding on personal privacy. It establishes the tradeoffs between what is more important: health or economy. To what extent leaders respect core democratic values, and what is permitted in the name of a health crisis. The Coronavirus crisis shows the many faces of good and evil governance. At the societal level, the Coronavirus crisis has been a real test to values such as brotherhood, voluntarism and other cherished values that are badly needed in times of crisis.  We have already mentioned in former writing that spiritual values surface much stronger during times of crisis. A leader who does not have the capacity to embed some of these values cannot inspire (Dolan, 2015, Dolan and Altman, 2012). The heart of society as well as the organization is the values that the leader instills. In fact, we argue that culture is nothing more than shared values. Our values are acquired during our education and become our invisible guides. They define the direction for our desires, behavior and actions. We should not forget, nonetheless, that values are contextual. The same value can have contradictory meanings in different contexts. For example, for some people “love” is considered a very important value (although we think it is more a need). Nevertheless, possession can be manifested in the name of love. It can be extremely negative and even dangerous, having little in common with the concept of unconditional love. Similarly, blind trust can be a recipe for disaster. History is full of examples of people trusting a leader blindly. We must be careful because we are good at fooling ourselves.

Culture is the soul of the organization or society in general. At the foundation of culture are system relevant paradigms: social, political, worldview, business, economy, and work. Culture is driven by strong beliefs and assumptions built on those paradigms. They are also strongly linked to the dominant world view and religion. They permeate the way of life, community, politics, education and even science.

Values come in next because real values are born of underlying basic assumptions and beliefs. They “ride” on them. Otherwise they are either wishful thinking or fake values. Values are in their essence, neutral. The context defines whether they are good or bad. Again, the message is that values are contextual.

People tend to respect the values which have direct consequences on their life, their wellbeing, or career. If the propagated values are in contradiction with their inner values, people tend to make trade-offs. The propagated values have to be confirmed and corroborated by the behavior of the leaders. On the other hand, if the values are aligned with their inner values it can generate incredible amounts of energy and lead to peak performance (Dolan, 2020).

Today the wrapping seems to be more important than the content. We like nice looking wrapping, but once we purchase it, we throw it away creating environmental problems. It has a mainly aesthetic purpose. Buying a wrapped object; its function is advertising, promotion and publicity. Most of the nice and impressive statements about vision, mission and values have the same purpose. They come from the same kitchen be it for organizations, corporations, politicians, or even individuals. We live in a world of reality shows and false promises, where impression is more important than truth. We are addicted to a superficial glittering world. This leads to fake democracies and wrong education. Maybe crossing the “danger zone” (such as the coronavirus) can help create a more human, sincere and honest civilization, where people will no longer accept all the falsehood and fake around them. Liran and Dolan talked about this corporate phenomenon in their paper entitled: Values, values on the wall, just do business and forget them all (Liran & Dolan TEBR 2016).

The expected paradigm shifts of economy and business have a big impact on our culture as well. Our culture will partially shift into the Virtual Reality (VR).  The Coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on the events scene, but the virus doesn’t have to bring the industry to a halt. Virtual reality (VR) seems to offer a solution to the travel bans companies all over the world are facing and the restrictions on large gatherings that are being imposed by governments.

The impact on culture and quality of life is immense, in both directions: positive and negative. Part of our comfort zone is already and will be transferred more intensely to the VR. New forms of culture will be developed. For example, fictions can be experienced like real in the VR; we can have active parts in novels, movies etc. We will be able to dive into any historical period and observe it directly. Education will be free or at very low cost and accessible for all already in the digital form. Later on, in global virtual “schools” learners will drive learning, and the teachers will become guides, tutors, coaches and trusted experts in learning. Learning will be complemented by individual development of core competencies enhancing talent development. Education will encompass learning, deliberate skills training, and practice focused on talents[i]. Students will be able to explore how the chosen domain of expertise may affect their life and try different options to find the most suitable in VR.

All these dramatic changes affect our comfort-zone. The “growth and greed” capitalism seems to be coming to an end. Because of the claim that free markets are tightly linked to democracy, our democracies are also affected. Democratic systems are running out of steam. Global economic crash is constantly looming because of the astronomic debt of all economies. All this leads people to yearn for past greatness. Maybe it is also a symptom of the aging populations in the leading countries.

We argue that the next 20 to 30 years will lead the world out of the historical comfort zone towards a future still widely unknown. As this will lead to economic, political and social turbulence and increased anxiety in people. We hope that the terrible experience of the Coronavirus pandemic will alert political leaders to carefully consider the path to mere economic growth. It will be a real challenge for governments, business, education and all of us. It requires a multidisciplinary and systemic approach with a view towards the future. We need to write, and dream about a positive state of the future which considers the three axes of values as the underlying paradigms and contrary of the past, not allow the economic axis to dominate all actions (Raich et al 2014).

Culture is the way we see the world and behave accordingly.
Culture is the soul of the civilization, the society and the organizations.

Spiritual values may be an interesting bridge to connect all classes of values. A hybrid of need and spiritual value; perhaps the concept advocated by all spiritual gurus in all religions and spiritual movements is the concept of love. We refer to love in form of a universal and unconditional state. Likewise, we argue that another meta value is the concept of trust.   Think about it. If at any society, at any organization, in any family there is a real sharing of unconditional love and unconditional trust, what else do we really need in order to feel part of something important? On the top of it, if we are conscious of our triaxial model of economic, emotional and ethical values, we become part of the universe and our daily conduct is hyper aligned (Dolan, 2020).

Some believe that nature as a whole can be considered as spiritual values. The Universe contains intricate organization at every level from the atom to the galaxy. The biosphere of our earth contains countless organized entities, and every day there is something new under the sun. From the womb of Nature has come sentient creatures who care, who value.  Around these creatures is this rich world capable of meeting needs and desires.  Is all this an accident, per the physicalist or the result of design, per the theist, or the result of something quite different than those polar positions have imagined? Nature is seen as an essential part of the universe and thus should not be interfered with. In an interesting blog, Schenk suggests that “Whatever “value” is, it arises from and is a part of Nature’s ability to self-organize and to create complexity, including conscious, intentional, and valuing beings such as our selves.   Ultimately, Nature is responsible for creating both the being that values and the things that satisfy the wants and desires of this being.  From this fact, we can deduce that this “creative” activity of Nature is the progenitor of all value.   Nature is the origin of value – and thus finding value in Nature is not merely a matter of taste, but a matter of fact” (Schenk 2020)In this sense, futurologists and other scientists claim that the Coronavirus, might have occurred because the advanced technological society is really interfering with natural ecosystem. They call our attention to the fundamental need to shift paradigms in the Cyber-Age economy in order to restore the universal values-order. This includes the following shifts:

  • From focus on (infinite) growth towards sustainable transformation and innovation
  • From focus on profit towards a balance of profit, life quality and social good
  • From fear of technology towards collaborative intelligence
  • From having towards becoming and being
  • From representative democracy towards authoritarian regimes
  • From control towards mutual tolerance, trust and respect
  • From strategy towards TrAction, which is a new concept to replace the traditional strategy (Raich et al, 2020 -forthcoming)


The Coronavirus Crisis: Needs vs. Values

Needs and values are indeed highly interconnected. Both are connected to the things we care about. There will be times, in your process of gaining a deeper understanding of another person, when it won’t be important to distinguish whether you’re exploring a need or a value. But there is an important distinction between the two: needs tend to be very similar for all people, whereas values tend to be highly individualized. However, needs might have some sort of hierarchy for which when our survival is at stake; they supersede our values. Needs, nonetheless are mostly chosen for us by the physical environment (breathing, eating, drinking for survival). Values, by contrast are chosen by us.   Needs and values show themselves in a variety of ways. Each has some characteristic patterns that make it possible to distinguish one from the other, even in an acute situation as the Coronavirus crisis.


Why Trust is the “value of Values” and more specifically during the Coronavirus virus crisis?

“Trust takes time to build, it can be lost in a fraction of a second and is very difficult to restore!”

Trust is the mother of all values. All relationships are based on mutual trust. Trust is the fundamental condition for cooperation, collaboration and partnership. Trust may also be dangerous, because not all people we trust are trustworthy and may deceive and betray us. Thus, one should be careful who we want to trust.

Trust is the belief we have in another person or in an institution. It is the core of the relationship. Experience can reinforce trust, but false promises not only undermine, but destroy trust. Lost trust is difficult to restore and sometimes even impossible. Therefore, it is the highest social good. Genuine trust must be earned. People trust leaders more by their actions than their words.

There is no doubt that we live in times of high uncertainty. This is the time that we need to follow our leaders be they our family leaders (at home -family), our corporate leaders or of political leaders. This is the time when we need to change (or even transform attitudes, behavior, and daily activities) to the extent that we have never seen before. We do it as followers only when we have trustworthy leaders. Trusting parents will provide the safety and security that children need, trusting our health professionals will provide the confidence in placing our bodies in their competent hands, and trusting our political leaders is critical in changing behaviors such as social distancing, having a protective mask, or staying at home. Trust, as we have mentioned in all our writing is a process that takes times to build but could be lost in a fraction of a second. This is the real moment to examine who we trust in times of uncertainty, who we are we willing to follow. We are not certain that we trust our leadership in handling the Coronavirus crisis (except perhaps the ones in China, Korea and other odd countries), which takes a huge toll on our physical and emotional wellbeing.

We place our trust (and hope) in our scientists and in our collective intelligence that is manifested across borders and frontiers. We are certain that a real solution to the Coronavirus crisis will be found. History indicates that real breakthrough innovation comes from the sharing of trustworthy and reliable scientific information and from global solidarity.  The value of solidarity is the key to true collaboration. When one country is struck by an epidemic, it should be willing to honestly share information about the outbreak without fear of economic catastrophe – while other countries should be able to trust that information and should be willing to extend a helping hand rather than ostracize the victim. Today, China can teach countries all over the world many important lessons about Coronavirus, but this demands a high level of international trust and cooperation. Recently, an amazing collaboration was set up between doctors in Spain and doctors in China (all work is in real-time with the help of volunteers that translate back and forth on a platform that was created see: https://covid19alliances.com/). Early results seem to be very promising. Perhaps the best manner to conclude this paper is by paraphrasing to say:




The world before Coronavirus and after cannot be the same
                                                                      – Goldin & Muggah (2020) 

Values act as a compass to follow the direction we have chosen. If we want to have a chance to cross the ‘danger zone’ we need to initiate a value shift. We need to move from growth towards care and responsibility; from confrontation, egocentrism and conflict towards empathy and partnership; from profit towards the quality of life. We also need to redefine the quality of life as allowing a decent life and making it accessible to everybody worldwide. The overall shift needs to convert a path from the materialistic towards spiritual values. Here are a few interesting points for reflection:

  • Care and responsibility for nature and the eco-system becomes a must if we wish to stay alive on this planet. It will require sustainability, a zero-waste attitude, and a shift away from cheap mass production and the throw-away mentality.
  • We will need to deploy all the creativity and entrepreneurship we can get to implement creative solutions developed globally for the threats in the ‘danger zone’.
  • Once we have crossed the danger zone, the next direction will be the development of the Meta-Mind-Society leveraging cyber technology for the good of humanity. For this purpose, we will have to focus on futurizing thinking and humanizing work while fostering collaborative intelligence (Raich et al, 2019). We will need to create concurrent direction and action. Similar to the creation of the UN following WWII, perhaps we will need to establish a Global Ethical Council to act as a ‘global conscience’ for the direction and progress of our journey across the danger zone and later on our progress towards the Meta-Mind-Society. This council will also have the task of developing recommendations and policies to prevent the abuse of future advanced cyber technology by powerful lords, organizations and cyber criminals, as well as cyber entities based on advanced AI getting out of control. A cyber virus can become indirectly as vicious and deadly as the Coronavirus.
  • The arts and the special media have to play a particularly important role in our journey across the danger zone and later on towards the Meta-Mind Society, spreading the message and creating role models to follow.
  • Education will have to raise the awareness of the young generation and leverage their creativity to get creative solutions.

It is time to look forward to the emerging future. To the time after the peak of COVID 19 infections i.e. the time of de-escalation of the harsh protection measures. It will take some time before we will be out of the state of emergency. We still don’t really know what the new “normal” will look like. This pandemic has shaken the foundations of the globalized world. We cannot exclude the possibility that we will be in completely different economic, social and even political circumstance. Therefore, it is also time to start preparing for a new world.

It appears that the Coronavirus pandemic may return next fall. We hope that an effective vaccine (and treatment) will be found before. None of us (individuals, couples, families, organizations and societies) wish to re-live it. This pandemic is a proxy for other disasters and threats that will most likely come up.

  • In the next decade over a billion young people will enter the labor market and many of them be will be trained but unemployed. Large numbers of young people face a future of irregular and informal employment according to several predictions (see for example – Trading economics Forecast 2020-2022). At the same time technology development, in particular automation, robotics and AI will affect many professional activities and reduce the number of jobs requested.
  • Climate change will force hundreds of millions of people out of their homes worldwide.
  • Polarizations across most countries will continue to rise leading to a weakening of social cohesion and the creation of dangerous tensions and conflicts. The number of armed conflicts, and the arms race between the countries, in particular if the global and regional power continues to grow. In hindsight, the Coronavirus pandemic may look like a dress rehearsal for the management of multiple simultaneous global crises.

Whilst several Asian countries have managed the Coronavirus pandemic quite well, most of the affected countries struggle, and the international institutions failed to manage the downside risks generated by the globalization. The world is forced to find a vaccine for COVID 19 to avoid massive disruptions for years.

The Coronavirus pandemic is a comprehensive crisis encompassing health, financial- economic, social and human crisis.


Final note:  The Lessons learned

At the Micro level (Individuals, couples, and family)

  • We need to have r values in place and test the extent to which we share them way before a terrible crisis emerges.
  • This way contingency and proactive plans can be prepared in advance at all these levels. We can see a surge in coaching that help people, couples and families reexamine their goals and objectives, challenging if the latter are realistic, and helping them set up plans to align daily behavior with the objectives, and easily switch behavior in case of a severe crisis. It is a worthwhile investment. The end results of this type on introspection is a way to develop life more consistent with what is really important.
  • Three things will be changed forever following the pandemic: the way they think, the way they relate to each other and the way they think about what they value (Kruglanski, 2020)


At the Macro Level (Organizational, community, state or the world)

  • We need to loosen the dense global connectivity on all levels to reduce the number and intensity of dangerous systemic risks. At the same time, we need to reinforce the role of international institutions in global risk management.
  • Countries need to be better prepared for big and global crises. Priority of sustainability over infinite growth.
  • Life sustaining production needs to have a back-up in the country and not rely only on the global value chain.
  • The healthcare industry needs to be re-evaluated in view of global disasters and pandemics. Shift priority from profit towards real life saving.
  • In a national or global crisis people turn to strong leaders. Autocratic countries seem to deal with crises better. Democratic countries need to develop ways to enable temporary strong but trustworthy leaders to take over, without invading the freedom and privacy of individuals.
  • We need to get prepared to cope with a dramatic economic crisis due to a disaster like the pandemic, which can lead to a reduction of more than 10% of the global GDP. Basic income in some form may be part of the solution. Maybe we need a global Marshall Plan?
  • Global risks require global solutions to get a comprehensive response. Globalization can transform global opportunities to global risks and threats. The way we deal with the threat created by the Coronavirus pandemic shows whether we are ready and able to handle a global threat.

The collateral disruptions created by the Coronavirus pandemic will shape the world for the next decades. They are manifold, life losses, disrupted partnerships and families, vanished jobs, bankrupt businesses, structural disruption and weakening of social cohesion, and last but not least failed trustworthy leaders. Future post Coronavirus leaders will face two critical challenges: futurizing and humanizing (Morgan, 2020).

Despite the many negative effects of the Coronavirus virus on our current and future lives, there are also some positive effects. Ism & Leyre, (2020) proposed in their article “16 ways Coronavirus may change the way we look at the world, and Fortwengel (2020) insist on 3 ways the crisis will have permanent effects: (1) Business travel considered critical before will significantly diminish (2) Flexible working arrangements and virtual work will become more habitual (who says that we need to go to a place called work), and industry will start to seriously prepare for disruption pressures that will come from both the demand and supply side. At the risk of being a bit naïve yet based on data we have accumulated at the Global Future of Work Foundation over the past several years (www.globalfutureofwork.com) , we wish to conclude this paper with some positive predictions in the aftermath of the pandemic :

  • There will be a marked shift towards digital technologies in business and education, e.g. virtual conferencing, workshops, and home office for work and home-based education.
  • There will be an accelerated push forward towards intelligent collaboration of humans with smart machines in order to come up with rapid solutions to pandemics and other crises.
  • It seems that there is a re-discovery of direct human contact and communication on the phone or over the digital channels.
  • There will be more production on-site, on-demand customized using 3D printing and related technologies.
  • There will be an expansion in the creation of digital ownership, i.e. algorithm-based recipes and solutions.
  • There will be a concentrated global effort to cope with the highly uncertain future.
  • There will be many more scholars, visionaries and even political leaders who will start to seriously consider future oriented thinking and action in an uncertain environment.

According to Sneader and Singhal (2020), in a paper published in the Mckinsey & company, the coronavirus is not only a health crisis of immense proportion – it’s also an imminent restructuring of the global economic order. The Coronavirus disrupting effect may constitute shock transformation that will have a permanent (we hope) effect on our core values, on our definition of success and happiness, on our enhanced global concerns (the ecosystem, poverty, immigration, or others) and on the search for a better global solution that will protect us all.

The authors wish to thank Mrs. Keren Dolan for a speedy quality copyediting as well as insightful comments made on an earlier version of this paper. 

About the Authors 

Simon L. Dolan is currently the president of the Global Future of Work Foundation (www.globalfutureofwork.com). Prof. Dolan used to be the Future of Work Chair at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, and before that he taught for many years at McGill and Montreal Universities (Canada), Boston and University of Colorado (U.S.). He is a prolific author with over 75 books on themes connected with managing people, culture reengineering, values and coaching. His full bio can be seen at: www.simondolan.com  Contact him: Simon@globalfutureofwork.com or simon.dolan@esade.edu

Mario Raich is a Swiss futurist, book author and global management consultant. He was a Senior Executive in several global financial organisations, and Invited Professor to some leading business schools like ESADE (Barcelona). He is the co-founder and Chairman of e-Merit Academy www.emeritacademy.com ), and Managing Director for the Innovation Services at Frei+Raich Ltd. in Zurich. In addition he is a member of the advisory board of the Global Future of Work Foundation in Barcelona. Currently he is researching the impact of Cyber-Reality and Artificial Intelligence on society, education, business and work. Contact: Mario@emeritacademy.com

Anat Garti is a social psychologist, couple and family therapist, management consultant, and a coach. She has recently obtained her doctorate from the University of Haifa. She is the chief psychologist of the Israel Values Center: (www.values-center.co.il) . Contact her: anatgarti@gmail.com

Avishai Landau is a certified coach and trainer in “Leading and coaching by values”.   He is the founder and CEO of the Israel Values Center (www.values-center.co.il). He has over 30 years of experience in various senior executive positions at some of the leading corporations in Israel. Co-author of several books on leading and coaching in Hebrew. Contact him at: mbv.org@gmail.com



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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.