Reimagine the Restart Part 1: A message of hope for you and your teams

We are in the belly of COVID. This is a three part series on what our current state tells us about society and where we go from here. 

Reimagine the Restart Part 1: What COVID-19 tells us about about society  

(A message of hope for you and your teams)

As we move into the weekend, let’s take a moment to step back and look at our current state together.

Author, psychologist and survivor, Viktor Frankl once said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

I invite you to choose the way of openness as we journey through these pages below together; openness to what could be, what may be and what will be. 

Finding Purpose in the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has put communities at risk, millions of people out of work, and isolated human beings in extraordinarily mind boggling situations.

Despite it all, we have heard triumphant humanitarian stories. These stories that give us hope, a virtue crucial to our existence.

Publix Super Markets, the beloved chain in the Southeast of the Unitied States, is buying food from farmers and donating it to food banks. The Patriots used their plane to pick of face-masks from China. Home Depot put a stop-sale on N95 masks in its stores and redirected shipments to donate to hospitals. 

Purpose Transcends Demographic 

There is no demographic, industry or vertical that constitutes the ability to do good. There is no social class that determines one’s ability to give.

These actions were not superb for the bottom line but they were superb or people, and as a result, good for business. And consumers are paying attention.

According to Edelman, 84% of consumers want to see marketing that focuses on how a company is helping people cope with pandemic-related challenges. Messaging that highlights the following relief efforts will resonate with consumers:

Supporting frontline workers

  • Taking care of employees
  • Supporting the community with resources

Gary V interviewed a media company whose 5,000 person survey confirms commonly held beliefs. The similar patterns they found were:

  • Safety
  • Trust 
  • Helping others

What is important to note is that whether in a crisis or not, these messages (especially email since our communications are limited) are still relevant and still resonate. 

The Opportunity for Leaders

Those that spread optimism and hope throughout their organization while retaining employees and showcasing humanity will reap benefits beyond measure. These types of benefits are nearly priceless and will stay with people for a lifetime.

As an example, in this recent Harvard Business Review, a LinkedIn survey found that people would rather put up with lower pay (65%) and forego a fancy title (26%) than deal with a negative workplace environment.

What does this tell us about society? A truth of human beings. That people are inherently good, want to be good and want to be guided to be good.

When misled be poor behavior of others or by other people’s notions of success, they can be guided in flawed directions. But that does mean their souls are flawed. 

Those companies privy to this evolution before the crisis have benefited from being first to market.

We are in the Midst of Revolution  

Last fall, Pre-COVID, nearly 200 of the world’s most powerful business leaders met in New York to discuss the future of business. They developed a statement in agreement that business is more than just about benefits shareholders. The purpose of a corporation is, “To promote an economy that serves all Americans.”

COVID-19 has given rise to a trend that we were already seeing tickers of, the Human- Centric era. The Human Centric era is the evolution of companies taking on human-traits such as: 

  • Deeply empathetic to customers
  • Talking like real people
  • Being real and even flawed
  • Empowering individuals to be the brand
  • Pay attention to the little things


According to Lippincott Consulting, the companies that exhibit these traits are 2x as likely to be referred to by their customers. 

As we distance ourselves from the industrial era and technology catalyzes change, companies are evolving to become closer to the people they serve and as a result, serving them better and making more profits.

The Iteration of Consumer Needs and Wants 

Everyday, people want companies to evolve the way society is evolving. Everyday, people deeply desire that companies become more human and operate less as a corporation. They are craving leaders to adapt.

Just before COVID-19 hit, Starbucks announced that they were adding mental health benefits for their employees. Employees embraced the acknowledgment of the issue and the widespread impact mental health has on their communities.

In our Reimagine the Restart web series this week, 82% of registrants showed up for this topic. It’s important and with symptoms on the rise with COVID-19, will continue to worsen against our wishes.

Due to the influx of information, and the rapid spike of opportunities and options for people to live a different life, employees and customers expect different options from their companies too. Their dollars, talent, and loyalty requires us to step up the plate and evolve with them. With or without the crisis, this applies. 

In humanizing operations, the biggest fear that people have is that standardization will make them “corporate”. This is telling of a fear firmly rooted in past experiences of generations before them, and currently those that lead them.

Aiming for Harmony of People and Profits

Being human-centric does not mean that you just let go of the financial needs of the company. Being human-centric means you put the needs of humans at the forefront of the business results. 

As westerners, we love hierarchy, but this is not an argument for People over Profits. It’s People AND Profits. They can and must coexist. They must work in harmony with each other. 

What I often see in my experience with companies is that their operations are so metric driven that it drives the poor behavior in their employees just to reach vanity outcomes. The outcomes are put ahead of the needs of people. When the solution is: serve your people, evolve with their needs and want and get better outcomes. 

Moving Forward 

Let’s imagine a new world together. In the next part of this series, we’ll expand upon the restart and how business can proactively engage with their customers #thehumanway and achieve results beyond their wildest dreams. 

What are you seeing happen in the current state? What ramifications does that have on business and the way will lead?

Reply here with your thoughts and I’ll incorporate relevant ideas in the next part of this series.

My intention is to help you, as many people as possible, come out better on the other side of COVID, both personally and professionally.

Thank you in advance for your leadership,

Hilary Corna


Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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