Pandemic Productivity

Posted by Karen Gadd on 7 May 2020
Karen Gadd
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Newton was in lock down when his theory of gravity / laws of physics became clear to him – he had been sent back to his family home from Cambridge because of a plague outbreak. It was thought that the overworked postgraduate needed the break from teaching and research to allow time and peace to do their work on his brain and thoughts.

0752 J Newton_smMy lock down is the busiest I have ever been – and the same for our two teams (business and TRIZ experts) and most of our customers. The idea of sitting under an apple tree is very appealing, but remains as much of a fantasy as the one I had about clearing out the loft.

Getting up to speed on delivering lock down learning has been exhausting, but satisfying – and also scary, when it is followed by team problem solving in isolation (a contradiction that TRIZ shows us 40 ways of overcoming). So far it has worked - one engineer said to me:

“It's the Ideal Outcome for me – I am alone at home AND working with my team to come up with virus-beating technologies.”

Being quite sociable myself, I found this hilarious – I am isolated with a quiet engineer and he says we talk too much. I was talking to him this morning and I waited for an answer to my question – he looked puzzled and said,

“Are you talking to me?”

"No," I replied, "to my much chattier imaginary friend."

Online with my female friends, I asked them about their partners' lock down conversation habits – one said her husband has taken out his hearing aid for most of the time…

For those who have not experienced the disease, or lost loved ones as a result of it, lock down is both good and bad – it's just a contradiction.

My team and my grown up children struggle to work full time and home school their children, but say that they have never had so many good times with their offspring.

Customers tell me that their productivity is astonishingly high, with no travel time, no office time-wasting, including long meetings - however online meetings are intense and exhausting (if efficient.)

For me, I used to teach TRIZ all day – now one hour of online teaching is so draining that afterwards I think I should go and sit under an apple tree.

Topics: TRIZ, Covid-19, Online learning, Coronavirus, Contradictions