Explaining to three children what was happening in the world felt tough enough before COVID, Brexit, George Floyd…but now? It’s like living in the moment right before the scariest part of the scariest movie you’ve ever seen. Again and again. All we can do is try to help the children form a strong understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong in the hope that they will try to make the right choices, do the right thing, learn from their mistakes, and that they will be fine.
In our business, we try to apply the same logic. Business decisions are rarely straightforward but the past year has been unbelievably difficult, I would say frightening at times. The reference points we once used to evaluate our decisions have either been harder to find or not there at all. Lyndon B. Johnson said: “Doing the right thing is not the problem. Knowing what the right thing is, that’s the challenge”. I think we, and in particular our CEO, Lucie Glenday, should be very proud of our response to Lyndon B. Johnson’s challenge.
We have looked internally for those constants and we have reminded ourselves of our mission, no matter how tough things got. We have evaluated each and every decision based on our values: responsibility to our communities and our environment; leveraging our data to provide unparalleled insight into health conditions; taking business decisions with our people in mind; and building a partner community through trust and shared beliefs. Critically, we also have looked back and learnt from our mistakes.
At work, as at home, a lot of effort went into forming that strong understanding of the right thing to do very early on in this business. I like to think if enough of us respond positively to Lyndon B. Johnson’s challenge the future isn’t just exciting but will also be a lot easier to explain to my children.