A Dutch view on Corona and our profession

Dear members of ICMCI

Who could have imagined that? That an invisible virus would shut down our entire world? That we all work at home now? That we should educate our children at home? That we are forced to continue our work online? And that the government intervenes so deeply in our private lives? A strange time.

First of all, we hope that you and your families are in good health in this difficult time with the spread of COVID-19. We also wish you a lot of wisdom. The corona virus is causing a huge crisis that affects us all. The consequences for our industry will be enormous for many of us. Both personal and business.

It will demand a lot from us in the coming period in terms of adaptability and resilience. We hope that you nevertheless manage to keep things running for your customers and yourself. In the coming period, in the Netherlands our annual invoice will also fall on the virtual doormat of our members.  We have informed our members to stay in contact if they are facing financial problems to encounter the membership fees. Then, together with members we are looking for a suitable solution.

At the same time, this crisis also offers all kinds of opportunities and possibilities. It underlines the importance of good health in relation to economic growth. The mutual solidarity, the care for each other and the willingness to help each other (at an appropriate distance) if necessary. The phenomenon of ‘vital professions’ and their importance for our society. The resurrection of 'the expert' (in the US, dr. Fauci, in the Netherlands, Jaap van Dissel and Diederik Gommers, names you (fortunately) never needed to know). And the flight that digital transformation is taking in organizations and the speed with which organizations are now switching from offline to online.

It is also the food for our profession to consider as anthropologists what happens here and how we respond to it as humans. Sometimes this brings out the best in us (the spontaneous applause for care workers), sometimes it brings out the worst in people and we have to hide the irresponsible behaviour of some people who do not keep to social distance (frust!). Once things have calmed down, it might be a good idea to discuss this with our internationally colleagues and to see what consequences this crisis has for our profession (and the profession). A good initiative that ICMCI has already started this

The corona crisis also has consequences for the activities of the OOA (IMC, the Netherlands). Many of our activities are cancelled (Book & festival on April 1, ALV and Spring Conference on May 12). In order of priorities: health of our members is number 1, getting their business back on track is number 2 and activities of our IMC are, in our opinion, only on number 3. We will try to respond as much as possible to the situations that have now arisen. 

We are offering online activities more and more (webinars, online workshops). We are finding out that there is a lot more possible then we thought beforehand. And we are asking our members if they would like to contribute and sharing with us their ideas, topics or workshops that you would like to offer online or would you like to contribute. Only together we will manage this crisis.
I want to wish all the international community of consultancy a lot of health, perseverance and success in this difficult time. Together we are capable of a lot.
Stay healthy!

Theo Hermsen

Vice President IMC the Netherlands