Increase Economic Resilience
Economic resilience. Huge subject area.
So, it's clear now in The Extended Emergency that we, the United States, did not have much economic resilience in The Before. Now that we're navigating the greatest crisis we've experienced in nearly a century, we'll find out if we're going to build a more resilient and perhaps more sustainable economy.
Indeed, as the transformation progresses, what iterates and evolves as we find our way through is likely to build and increase economic resilience. Because resilience is built. You don't buy resilience. It's not found. It's grown. The more tough stuff you get through - the more resilience you have the "opportunity" to build. Much like character, and "opportunities" to build character. Super annoying (or much worse) to have to go through the process, though, assuming you make it on the other side - which doesn't always happen. And we know that that's likely here, too. Obviously from a life and survival perspective, but also from and economic and financial resilience perspective.
The economic resilience of people, families, organizations, businesses, cities, states, and even the federal government will be tested at an unprecedented level as this crisis persists. Many of those people and entities will not have enough economic resilience to survive.
As this crisis unfolds, the interdependencies and cascading effects will make themselves known, crash, collide, spread, and collapse. Some of the cascading effects will collide with no or low economic resilience - and that, too, will lead to fatalities. There's no way around that.
From an economic resilience standpoint - no one knows how things will turn out. We obviously had fairly low economic resilience before the pandemic, and we've very heavily cut into and used much of that resilience as the weeks and now months of this pandemic have unfolded. We had low economic resilience at the beginning - we have WAY, way less economic resilience now. Will what's left be enough for the country? Can we make it stretch? Can we build more as we go through this?
Thousands of people are working on answers to those questions - in homes, in organizations, in government agencies everywhere, and in Congress. Some of the moves so far to "help the economy" have not lead to significantly increased economic resilience for us as a nation. That's obviously a problem.
This is a subject that could go on and on. This section of the Proposal to Shift the Country looks at some potential; some ideas. It was written pre-pandemic, and geared for rural America, but the discussion and brainstorming in it may be of interest of plant some seeds. It's a lot of information crammed into a tiny space; it's meant to stimulate ideas and not to be a master's thesis.
As we say here often, the core four things that can help us get through this crisis are connection, community, resilience, and problem-solving. Figuring out how to increase economic resilience for yourself, your family, your business, your organization, your city, your tribe, your county, your state, or your constitutents will be critical to helping us all find ways forward. Our coaching and consulting work can help.
None of it's going to be easy. We have to iterate, adapt, be flexible, be open, and evolve. Innovate. Use critical thinking. Be creative. Try new stuff. Work with people. Listen. Have good teams. Have synergy.
The long-term look at this entire subject is that as we find our way through this crisis, there will be transformation.
As we navigate the pandemic, we can and will find ways to increase economic resilience in so many places. Figuring out how to do that will likely be pretty critical to our survival - and to our chances of thriving on the other side. Figuring out how to increase economic resilience in ways that are more just and equal will be critical too, especially as those with the least resilience now may be paying very high prices for not having it. We are already seeing fatality numbers tied to the virus that reflect harsh economic realities. There will be more, and not all will be directly tied to coronavirus. Some will be cascading effects.
As we are moving through and as we are transforming, we can keep our long game in mind.
Would shorter supply chains help us build economic and other kinds of resilience? Can we build resilience in more than one area at a time with more comprehensive efforts... like disaster + community + economic resilience; or infrastructure + economic resilience; or food chain resilience + agricultural sustainability + economic resilience? What are the local, state, or federal policy things we can advocate for that can increase economic resilience? How do we build economic resilience in our community? Our neighborhood? For our family?
No easy answers. But we'll have a better shot of finding at least some answers if we've started looking. That's part of how we find our way through. The complexity of what we're facing is why so many of the focus areas will be helpful too.
Light it up.