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  • Jerry Phillips

Adaptation to the Situation

What happens when work from home doesn’t work?

It’s been nearly a year since we went into the pandemic driven life changes of working from home. In Texas we celebrated it with another lockdown of mother natures choice. In Austin we have the third largest snowfall on record and some of the lowest temperatures on record, with wind chills below 0. For my friends in the North, that may be a normal winter occurrence, but for us, it’s definitely not. We are built to resist heat, not cold.

With the weather surprise, (the National Weather forecast was for February to be warmer than normal) it has created challenges, with electricity and water issues. We haven’t had water for two days. That doesn’t sound bad until you don’t have water for two days. We have electricity so far, but there are rolling blackouts due to supply and demand. Over 40% of Texas energy comes from wind farms and they don’t work when they are covered with ice. We can sit around and feel sorry for ourselves or get angry, but what value does that bring?

On Sunday morning, with ice and snow on the ground, our neighborhood poker group text was asking for rope to pull a vehicle. With 7” of snow on top of ice, driving was treacherous. Nobody had rope, even in Texas, so a group of 8 neighbors pushed the vehicle out.

Without water you can’t flush toilets. It can become an issue. My neighbor broke the ice on his pool, and we took buckets of water from the pool to add where needed. We are in a great neighborhood and this event has drawn us closer as a community. We are all looking out for one another.

In business we have had major economic disruptions over the past 20 years plus. From the dot com bubble, through 9/11, through a housing bubble, and now the Covid-19 pandemic recession. Each event has changed the landscape of business. In the next five years we may have another event that shakes us. But we keep marching forward. We plan for these types of events now. We work as a team. Does your company? How have you improved your processes to withstand the events? How does your technology and your team work together to mitigate your risk and grow?

There are upsides to this cold. I was able to break out my duck hunting gear to tromp around in the snow. After several years, it still fit. Perhaps a little more snug, but I was able to wear it and stay warm. We all adapt.

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