It’s Time to Pay it Forward

Guest post by Larry Checco – Sharing Perspectives

Would my wife and I like to have the federal government drop $2,400 in our laps? Sure, who wouldn’t.

Would we miss a meal or a mortgage payment if it didn’t happen? No.

But many of our fellow Americans will.

So, we’ve decided, after making sure that we and our grown kids would remain financially sound during this crisis, that we would donate our windfall to the common good—namely to those who need it far more than we.

Then we got to thinking: What if we could convince those who are in the same financial position as we are to do the same? Think of the difference it would make!

What if we created a “giving circle” where just 10 others joined us? That’s $24,000!

Then we could identify families, friends or neighbors who need help paying their rent or mortgage. Or buying food. Or, a small business in need of a bridge loan. Or a local health care clinic in need of medical supplies. Or nurses and doctors in need of childcare while they go about the heroic business of saving others.

Use your imagination!

If 100 people did the same, we’re talking $240,000. Real money.

What if this could turn into a grassroots nationwide movement. WOW!

It’s estimated that before the coronavirus rocked the stock market there were nearly 15 million millionaires in the United States. Many of these people won’t qualify for the government’s $2,400 largesse because they earn too much. Many already give generously.

But imagine if, along with the rest of us, they all kicked in an extra $2,400.

Let’s do the math!

My wife and I are not wealthy people. We have what we have because we always lived slightly below our means. Now it’s time to give slightly above our means.

The needs are great. More than 16 million Americans have already lost their jobs. Economists tell us many million more job losses are yet to come.

It’s obvious the government can’t do it on its own. It’s up to We the People, to determine what kind of country we want to live in.

What we’re proposing is not a bailout for large banks and corporations, or for the government, for that matter. Regardless of how good or bad you believe the government has handled this crisis, we’re talking about something else entirely.

We’re talking about people helping people directly—no middleman needed.

Helping people who, through no fault of their own, have lost jobs, their health, or even a loved one, and are going through extraordinary tough times.

If you’re part of the business community—especially a large corporation—it’s to your advantage to help ensure that most of us get through this crisis, not only physically healthy, but financially sound.

Companies need to do their part, as well—from extending additional benefits to your employees, including health care, cash bonuses or advances, as well as temporarily lowering your prices on essential goods and services, or providing in-kind-donations to local nonprofits.

Whatever it takes.

If in fact 70 percent of our economy is consumer-driven, then when we finally exit this dark tunnel, consumers are going to need the confidence and resources to jumpstart the economy and help it snap back.

By all of us helping each other get through this crisis, it might just do the trick—and save us ALL a great deal of lingering economic pain in the long run.

It might also help bring us together as a nation, help heal our glaring and disabling political divide and make us proud to call ourselves Americans.

It will encourage us to feel good about ourselves as we wrestle with the isolation and the feelings of hopelessness and despair many of us are currently experiencing. It would be a way to reach out to others.

We’re the wealthiest nation ever. If not us, who? It not now, when?

Let’s think about it when that government check gets deposited in our mailbox or bank account.

Let’s don’t talk about wanting to make a difference. We can MAKE the difference!

Contents Copyright (C) 2020 by Larry Checco – All Rights Reserved

We Must Accept the New Reality – a Personal Perspective

Personal perspectives shared by Ken Cynar – Executive VP, Editor-in-Chief – G&A Institute

The initial pandemic panic seems to have subsided, those that needed to hoard have apparently reached their limits and now is the time for calm.

We must be ready for the long haul….the very long haul!

There are some people who have been focused on immediate gratification so often that [gratification] becomes the only solution; for those people and all the rest of us — I think that this period in our lives should be teaching us patience.  Patience and forbearance.

Social isolation will test our relationships, reach into our inner being and unfortunately in some cases release inner anger and frustration.

This is not the time to point the fingers, get angry at whomever or scream to the heavens that the gods are at fault.

“The fault… is not in the stars… but in ourselves.” There is plenty of blame to go around for the situation we find ourselves in today.  

The time is at hand for us to accept that it will be months, not weeks before there will be return to some normalcy.

Meantime, children will be home schooled; those of us that can, will work from home, all of us will become somewhat disconnected from friends and family, money problems will challenge many, and our focus will be on basics…food, water, health and safety, shelter.

Hopefully many will take the opportunity to look inward and readjust and improve the things they should value. New sneakers or clothes and that new car will become less and less important. A new set of real values can replace the old.  That will change many aspects of 21st Century living.

And those changes will require us to adjust to the new normal of the day.

Accept it or not, I believe that we are now returning to the values of a simpler time…like it or not, depending on your point-of-view.

You can embrace change, work with it and yourself or continue to howl at the moon in anger and frustration…which believe me is pointless.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to living. Get on the phone to your friends and neighbors…help them adjust…offer your counsel…your comfort…seek the humanity in all…and live your life according to the new rules.

Get on Facebook or other social media with good news, humor, stories… not ranting at the whomever or whatever. Connect and stay connected.

We can get through this by helping each other. See who might need a call on your block…maybe you can pick up some needed food for them the next time you go to the store.

If you don’t have it in your heart to reach out now…then when?

Acts of kindness are for now!

In this all please don’t lose your faith…it is a time for prayer. For God is there, always listening.

That’s the way I see it. Comments to share?

Marriott, Apple, Google, Facebook, Schein, CVS, Sentient Technologies, American Express, JPMorgan Chase — Finding Ways to Help – and Innovate!

G&A Institute Team Note: We continue to bring you news of private (corporate and business), public and social sector developments as organizations in the three societal sectors adjust to the emergency.

This is post #15 in the series, “Excellence in Corporate Citizenship on Display in the Coronavirus Crisis” – April 10, 2020

#WeRise2FightCOVID-19 “Corporate Purpose – Virus Crisis”

By Hank Boerner –Chair & Chief Strategist – G&A Institute

The team members at G&A Institute are in conversations throughout the day with corporate managers, with the discussions centering on sharing “what companies can do / what companies are doing” to meet the challenges of the cororanvirus pandemic.

That consideration for many companies today is both internally and external focused — the key tasks are keeping people safe, serving the community’s needs, keeping the corporate operations going to be best of their ability, and looking forward to the post-crisis era.

Here are a few selections of what executives and managers and their organizations are doing.  As we are thinking…

Life hands you the lemon / squeeze! / make the lemonade!
And get it around to others as fast as you can.

Setting An Example: Cut My Pay, Says Schein CEO

Stanley M. Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein Inc. (important suppliers to the medical community) is taking a temporary cut in salary during the virus crisis. As his company’s client base experiences hazards and cares for patients, the CEO (in SEC filing) will take 100% pay cut.

The company also stopped its share buyback program. The company markets equipment and supplies for clinics, dentist & doctor offices, and other segments of healthcare.

Schein is a co-founder of the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, using its own supply chain for distribution of testing supplies. The network was created at the 2015 Davos meeting as a public-private partnership. Now, the PSCN is part of the global COVID-19 response.

Information for you if would like to become a part of the effort: https://www.weforum.org/projects/pandemic-supply-chain-network-pscn

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Apple & Google Teaming For New “Contact-Tracing” Bluetooth App

It’s hard to get one’s head around the pandemic: millions, tens of millions, yes billions of people are stationary, immobile, not able to move around, sheltered at home, working remotely.

And tens of millions of us are not able to not move around, we must be at our posts, picking the crops, stocking the warehouse, driving the truck, stocking the shelves, manning the cash registers at retail.

Or more frightening, driving the ambulance, being on post in the emergency room or in the ICU, or in the wards with non-COVID patients.

Or driving the police car to respond to “the unknown”, or the fire truck to extinguish the blaze and save lives. Think about the EMT in the ambulance, hour after hour, running to danger.

Keeping on touch, virtually all of us, mobile and immobile rely on our cell phone…the lifeline to loved ones as well.

For those who must be on their designated post, moving around, interacting, the fear is that the virus could be too close, within reach to infect. To the rescue: Apple Inc. and Google – in a rare partnership, the rivals are adding technology to the phone to alert us if we’ve come into contact with a person with the virus.

This is to be an opt-in feature – “contact-tracing” – that immediately alerts us: quarantine and isolate and then treat or seek treatment because we have been in close contact with an infected person.

Over time we can expect to see this application added to the basic phone operating systems.

Watch for the news in May for iPhones and Android; the management of the system will be by public health agencies. The reports to the phone will be on anonymous basis. As the two companies announced the collaboration,  The phone owner must opt-in to be part of the network.

MIT says it is developing a similar system. Of course, there are numerous privacy protection issues – we’ll see how that goes on the rollout.

Facebook Joins the Tracing Effort

Facebook is one of the world’s leading social media platforms (claiming 2 billion-plus of the “connected”). Users are invited to share their own coronavirus symptoms and experiences to help researchers pinpoint “where” the disease is occurring.

Carnegie Mellon, the great tech school, is using the data in pilot effort to try to see where data is telling us help is needed. Such as the all-important ventilators that are in such short supply. Or where “go home/stay home” guidance or orders are needed. The output is going to be shared with public sector health managers.

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Headed to the Drug Store? How Do You Know What You Need is There?

The CEO of the nationwide CVS drug store network, Larry Merlo, was interviewed by Barron’s Jack Hough. The CVS stores are in the midst of becoming “HealthHUBS” (to provide medical services) and strengthening is “Caremark” program for pharmacy benefits management. And now, the CVS workforce is pressed to help customers in the midst of the virus crisis.

Explains CEO Merlo: Home deliveries are up by three times the usual volume. Tele-medicine connections are up two times. CVS waived copays for tele-medicine and for deliveries. COVID-19 testing was starting in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (in a store parking lot) to do 100-plus test a day. Stores are being kept stocked. Limits are applied to prevent hoarding.

The company maintains close contact with suppliers to keep the pipeline stocked and moving to stores. CDC guidelines are followed in the stores. Cash bonuses are being doled out to hourly store staff, pharmacists, managers. There is day care service where possible; sick leave is granted to part-timers.

Lessons Learned: Keeping mind the Chinese sign for crisis (“danger” and “opportunity”), we learn that the CVS CEO thinks the crisis has helped to strengthen the firm’s confidence in what CVS can do to help to change the trajectory of healthcare delivery.

Pharmacies (local) and tele-medicine (distant) are key elements. The critical role that healthcare professionals play in local communities (where CVS outlets are located) is really being demonstrated today.

Marriott and Hilton have been working with CVS to create a transition for those folks who are furloughed. Speaking of Marriott…

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Holding on to Customers / Serving the Local Community & Responders

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson in communications to patrons explains that cancellations for scheduled trips are being adjusted out to June 30th (usually 24 hours notice is required). Expiration of points accrued for use at the properties is being extended. “Experience flexibility” is the theme.

And about helping the communities in which the resorts and hotels are based:

  • Marriott properties are donating food, pre-cooked and cooked meals to crisis responders, as well as a supply of cleaning products, masks, gloves, sanitizers, wipes, shower caps, anti-microbial wipes, and other supplies to local communities. Hotel windows sport signs and symbols of love and support to those passing by.
  • Working with American Express and JPMorgan Chase (two credit card partnering organizations), Marriott committed to provide $10 million worth of hotel stays to professionals on the front lines of the crisis. “Rooms for Responders” are being made available in New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington DC, and Newark, New Jersey.
  • To reach the responders, Marriott is working with the American College of Emergency Physicians and Emergency Nurses Association to help match doctors and nurses with available rooms.

And the “Community Caregiver Program” initiative (coordinated by franchisees and property owners) provides deep discount accommodations near to hospitals to first responders and healthcare professionals stepping up to serve local communities. This is available in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America (at 2,500 hotels to date).

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The Food Supply in the Crisis – Changes in Post-Crisis Behaviors

What is happening in the food sector? Mike Geraghty writing on the Sensient Technologies Corporation platform shares the results of a mid-March 2020 study by Nielsen that forecasts six key consumer behavior shifts happening during the crisis.

The findings will have a major impact on the food industry and will/could lead to permanent changes in the way consumers shop for food.

These are (by their headlines):

  • Proactive Health-Minded Buying
  • Reactive Health Management
  • Pantry Preparation
  • Quarantined Living Preparation
  • Restricted Living
  • Living a New Normal

Under each category headlines there are explanations of the shifts seen in consumer behavior and COVID-19 event markers. There’s valuable findings and shared perspectives here for you from the Sentient folks (providers of color technologies and services for the food and beverage industries).

The commentary: https://sensientfoodcolors.com/en-us/global-markets/covid-19-changing-food-industry/?utm_source=FoodNavigator&utm_medium=Email%20Top%20Text%20US&utm_campaign=COVID&utm_content=Apr%202020

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G&A Institute Team Note:
We continue to bring you news of private (corporate and business), public and social sector developments as organizations in the three societal sectors adjust to the emergency and organize their response.

New items are posted at the top of the blog post and the items posted today will move down the queue.

We created the tag “Corporate Purpose – Virus Crisis” for this continuing series – and the hashtag #WeRise2FightCOVID-19 for our Twitter posts. Do join the conversation and contribute your views and news.

Do send us news about your organization – info@ga-institute.com so we can share. Stay safe – be well — keep in touch!