Never Miss a Crisis

As we approach the summer holidays here in Finland, nature is at its most beautiful, and it is easy for one’s thoughts to turn to the lighter and more pleasant sides of life. The reality, however, is that we are still living in a time of crisis, albeit one that has come to a crossroads—at least in Finland. As we begin a gradual return to normal, the temptation to go back to old ways of doing things is strong, but we need to ask ourselves what we can learn from this crisis. When at a crossroads, it is important to pick a road that leads somewhere better.

During the crisis this spring, organisations transformed themselves into virtual workplaces with astonishing speed. It quickly became clear that working as an expert is not tied to time or place. Nevertheless, I still believe that a unified team draws its strength from human encounters and a sense of community. Human interaction is the glue that keeps an organisation together and on its feet.

From the perspective of leadership, the crisis has clarified decision making by putting priorities into sharp relief. When the view forward is foggy, you have no choice but to focus on fundamentals and push aside the unnecessary. You have to communicate often, clearly and openly–to tell the truth, even when it is unpleasant. You also have to have the courage to say you don’t have the answers and that the future is uncertain. These principles are certainly applicable at any time.

We spend much of our lives at work, which is why it is so important to develop work sustainably. This is one area that the pandemic could help point the way to something better. Commercial law is a hectic business, and working as a business lawyer can at times be very intense. At Castrén & Snellman, we have put a great deal of time and effort into helping our ambitious employees make their day-to-day lives as balanced as possible, even when they find themselves having to juggle work with family life. I believe that the crisis will help us find many good solutions as we move forward.

The personal and economic price of the pandemic is huge. When rebuilding our society and economy, it is important that we don’t just repair old structures but renew them. We need to work towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and responsible future. Let’s make sure that the cost of this crisis is not wasted, but that we use it in a way that will enable us to meet the next crisis stronger than ever.