Business as Un-Usual

It doesn’t matter if you’re pushing or pulling the leading edge, being 1st is still often the most enviable position even when waging war against a deadly virus.

Being 1st is important, but being right is critical too.

In business, being first with the right solution, or at least “close to the right” solution puts you in a league with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple.

That truism has never been so significant as it is now, as “we” the global collective, battle coronavirus – Covid-19.

Being 1st in business or virus does two basic things;

1/ It sets a precedent and establishes
early crowd/market control.

2/ It makes you look smart and helps you survive.

Political pandemic posturing has the PR perception protocol painted all over it!

Perception is often nine tenths of the law, and experienced leaders know it. You have to win, or at least look like you’re winning each step along the way.

On March 18, 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would close the Canada/US border to all traffic except commercial flow. He made that drastic and difficult decision because our friends in the US now hold risk considerably greater than Canada’s, although that could change at any moment  and for unexplained reasons. So far though, Canada has moved far beyond the effort the USA is exhibiting.  

Here’s how it breaks down today, from WorldOMeters.Info;

The USA has 11,355 Total Cases, Canada has 800. The USA has had 171 Deaths, Canada, 10. In the USA Total cases per million population is 34, in Canada 21. USA population is 327 million, Canada, 38 million.

Not that anyone is counting except Canadians and President Trump … Canada is obviously protecting its citizens better than the USA, which means our neighbors next door are a significant risk. Statistically, it’s more dangerous to be in the presence of a US citizen than it is a Canadian, and that fact is important when you share such an open-style border.

The USA has always been a welcomed and trusted friend to Canadians, but of late, The Donald has jeopardized a relationship that, for the most part in the past has been extraordinarily great. Today however, not so great.

We’ll still gladly share a drink with Americans at “Happy Hour” but when it comes down to life and death, we’re calling out our friends south of the border. Please stay on your side of the table until you have your house in order. Also, please tell Elon Musk that his government’s rules apply to him too. Musk has been forced to shut his factory down by the local sheriff. Musk claimed that building cars is an essential service. Turns out, it’s not. Who knew?

Canada no longer trusts that the USA is making the right decisions to protect its citizens under Trump leadership, so we’ve had to distance ourselves for the safety of Canadian residents.

As you can see by the numbers above, compared to the USA, Canada and it’s political leaders have done the right things at the right time. We’ve protected our citizens the best way possible considering these dangerous times, while the US has fumbled and put us all at heightened risk.

No one wants to repeat the tragic mistakes made by Italy. Consequently, watching the Americans stumble is puzzling in the face of the large volume of information provided by WHO – the World Health Organization.

Canadians love you guys below the 49th, but we need you to keep your distance because you’re not operating on compassion. Instead, you’re playing a short game of greed when the entire world needs a long view of survival.

The only way we are going to flatten the global pandemic growth curve is by all working together.

If you cheat, you’ll get caught and die, and increase the risk of infecting us all. Canadians are historically NICE, but don’t mistake our heightened sense of humanity for stupidity.

It is Canada who wanted the U.S. border closed, so our prime minister closed it.

Oddly, being first, also means that if it happens, you want to be the first individual in your community to contract an active case of Covid-19 because you’ll be first in line for scarce ventilators that will very likely be necessary for your survival. It also means you’ll have a bed in a hospital and you won’t have to suffer and maybe even die at home, alone. It’s where people who cheat the system end up regardless of their personal wealth, except of course for the obscenely wealthy who already own a respirator for each person in their family – it’s the modern day BOMB SHELTER. Just for the record, your respirator would also be more effective if it were attached to a hospital, but that’s a minor hurdle when you’re wealthy, and especially if the wing carries your family name.

Being first often means you’ll have the best chance of survival whether it’s a virus or business.

On the Canadian fisheries side, being first to embrace the transition of open-net pens inland and out of the ocean means you will have the best access to funds, leadership, and opportunity. It means you will play a greater role in establishing the long term rules of engagement and competition.

Being second means you’ll have to follow the rules established by your competitor.

Being second also means you won’t get the ventilator, and that your risk of dying increases exponentially.

Being second means that the guy in first place, has the ear of the government, and being on the inside gives them overwhelming leverage to enact new legislation and to capitalize on new ways of thinking ahead of the crowd. Smart companies know this, the rest, not so much.

Effectively managing the crowd in business and politics means you have influence over a group that is “collectively dumb”, but individually, very smart. The collective dumb panic-buy and horde toilet paper, the smart manage their priorities responsibly and make decision based on what is good for the team. Smart players have a strong and often influential voice through social media. This ain’t Kansas Dorothy and not the old news media days where mainstream news irresponsibly reported whatever worked for their advertisers. Twitter and such levels the playing field in real time.

Life is changing exponentially at the frantic speed of a mutating virus – look to Italy where 475 recently died in one single day. 

Although technology now makes things possible that we never even dreamed of a few years ago, it turns out that INTUITION is still the best indicator of whether or not you will follow the advice of health professionals. Psychologists report that the higher your sense of intuition, which is tied directly to empathy, the more likely you are to manage Covid-19 responsibly.

Technology makes it possible to communicate with the crowd efficiently so that we can isolate ourselves from a new breed of virus, a novel virus that kills without prejudice.

Technology also makes it possible to mimic an ocean-like environment in a land-based RAS IMTA facility.

In all of history, humanity has never been able to do either of these things, and for different reasons, it’s scary. Change is always daunting because it’s predicated on the unknown, and the unknown carries risk.

A quote, often mistakenly attributed directly to Charles Darwin is not about physical strength as many erroneously believe. It’s reflective of how one-celled creatures proliferate … “It is not the strongest that survive, or the most intelligent, but the one with the greatest capacity for change.” 

The more that a virus adapts, the faster it will grow, and so far Covid-19 meets all these markers.

Consequently, Canadians also need to adapt to survive.

It’s not about being strong. It’s about being flexible, and fast.

Canada does a good job, but we still do not test enough for Covid-19. The rate we do however is increasing rapidly. Without testing we have no idea who is a carrier. It’s like playing Whack-A-Mole in the dark.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced an $82 billion dollar aid package that covers a wide variety of people and companies. If anyone at this stage, continues to expend energy in an effort to undermine our political leaders, your names and companies are duly noted. In order to move quickly we need cooperation from everyone – even if you didn’t vote for the current politicians, or even if you didn’t vote at all. Unless you can PROVE your allegations, bad mouthing leaders in charge does nothing to help our world cause, so for your sake and all humanity, grow up.

The internet has a long shelf life.

No one is interested in your opinionated political bias or armchair quarterbacking. Unless you have a positive contribution for a COVID-19 SOLUTION, keep partisan trolling to yourself for the next few months. The rest of us are looking for solutions. You’re either with us, or against us.

There’s no middle ground with Coronavirus.

You either have it, or you avoid it.

If you have it, phone your doctor and get in line for a respirator. Your life might depend on it.

As a society in these trying times, it’s not about how much money we throw at it, or the best deal we make to horde vaccines, it’s about working together to effectively manage this monster.

We can go back to fighting with each other later.

Maurice Cardinal has been a fisheries marketing and communications advisor and writer in British Columbia for almost a decade and has worked with leading organisations, NGOs, and governments in Canada and abroad.