Doing Our Part to Flatten the Curve

My family and I were in a cabin in the Colorado mountains the week that everything changed. When we returned on March 15, everything was different. It felt like we arrived home on a different planet…and I suppose in many ways earth is a different place than it was before.

I’m so proud of the way the Verdis Group team has responded. They are a resilient bunch and quickly adapted to the situation. As we’ve traversed through this new landscape, we have had some wins and losses, and I thought sharing a few of them might be helpful to others as we ALL continually adapt to our new world. Here goes:

Priority #1: Caring for our Team. In times of crisis, it’s critical to ensure basic needs are met and to recognize our humanity. I think we’ve always done this at Verdis, but we’ve ramped it up lately to make sure everyone knows they are supported 100%. As it relates to our team’s basic needs, our new office space has been pillaged – people took home or I delivered monitors, keyboards, office chairs, and height-adjustable tables. About the only things left in the office are a couch, some plants, and my favorite (Toby Ziegler) ball.

From one-on-one calls to daily team huddles and weekly Zoom happy hours, we are regularly supporting each other. We talk almost daily about how we are feeling, what is adding to or depleting our energy banks, and if there are any barriers that need to be removed. We acknowledge and support our team as we all process the losses our world is experiencing first hand. People first. Always.

Priority #2: Caring for our Community. We are absolutely committed to our community and will always do everything we can to support it. C19 gave us an opportunity to expand our LOVErdis initiative in new ways. First, we gave each of our employees a $250 bonus and asked them to spend it at a local small business or donate it to a local nonprofit in need – and to do so while socially distanced!

Next, we provided pandemic discounts to a few of our clients that are being hit the hardest. The loss of lives, jobs, and health are creating stress on our community’s systems, and we’re doing all we can to reach out a helping hand and keep our hand open as new and old partners come together to support one another.

Finally, we sent $500 to the Omaha Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund and are accelerating some of our other planned philanthropic giving for 2020.

Priority #3: Zooming In and Out. As a small business, we’re both zooming in to rapidly adapt to the constantly changing landscape with our clients, partners, and other activities around us (PPP, anyone?).  We are also zooming out and trying to look around the corner – strategically thinking about what a post-C19 world may look like. We recognize that we all have a role to play in imagining and creating a stronger, healthier and more integrated world, and we are taking steps now to bring forth this reality. We have already formed new partnerships, deepened existing ones and are offering sustainability and living systems leadership lessons for disruption.

While we don’t have all the answers, we know things will be different when we all come out of this, and it’s our aim to use these unprecedented times to create a more resilient world.

Onward and upward!

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