Optimism in the Face of Adversity


The recent weather conditions here in the UK have certainly made for interesting and varied reactions amongst the public. The media spends copious amounts of money dramatising what is a fairly normal situation for people in the most northern areas. We’ve had half hour television programmes recycling old news, hyped up weather forecasting, and PR companies thrown to the lions as they uncomfortably represent businesses that should have been better prepared with the hindsight of last year’s snowfall. We’ve had all this generic media hype without little care or focus on the situations that really need consideration such as keeping those less able safe, or how we as communities can help those homeless or less-well off than us. It’s not even news worthy to observe how many of us don’t need a car to get to the supermarket or indeed our place of work. Oh no, it’s too much to focus on anything other than what’s easy to shock and awe with.

Interestingly, when we’re faced with adverse conditions, there is usually a silver lining that we often miss. Being hit with a disaster in whatever form allows for us to test our abilities to survive and recover. Take this recession and look at how you’ve had to adapt to the current economic climate.

For most 2010 has been a year dotted with challenging situations. Let’s not forget the recent volcanic-ash crisis earlier this year. It’s one the Irish Government won’t…

… you see, when Ireland’s airports were forced to close, the number of people who signed on the dole fell by more than 3,500 which helped alert and give hard evidence of the growing number of ‘welfare tourists’.

In this situation, whilst it may highlight a failing in the system, it at least highlights a failing in the system.

Having the cold hard facts presented to you quickly sort out your priorities, particularly when you realise that 3m Euros a month are unnecessarily leaving your bank account.

It’s very easy to get frustrated with situations that are uncomfortable or unknown to us, but it’s important to draw on your abilities to handle them pragmatically and in a way that you can learn from them. In our IT industry, we know that Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is an important backbone to any business, although  it’s not until we have to test it do we realise its value and purpose.

You may not be able to get that all important Christmas present sent in time to a loved one just because the courier has a backlog of deliveries bigger than Everest but there is no point crying over spilt milk. Get back to what is important. Don’t get caught up in the media or commercial hype that circles our heads each time every year. Go back to whatever is important to you, both in your personal and professional lives and seek out what’s most important to you.

What does the end result look like to you? Visualise and act upon it and you’ll be having a Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.

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