We at Insigniam say that breakthroughs are the result of well-handled breakdowns. Covid provided much more breakdowns than any of us bargained for, yet they helped corporations around the globe to pivot in critical ways. Building resiliency in the global supply chain was one key matter to address, but perhaps, more importantly, so was the need to build a more resilient workforce. As was shared in the first blog in this series, the job is not a simple one.

Deborah DiSanzo heads up Best Buy Health. Covid-19 brought to everyone’s doorstep a challenge the world has never seen. Surging demand for high-quality, accessible care has stressed our existing systems of support and delivery and pushed opportunities to revitalize health systems sharply into focus. Payors and Providers face broader competition, barriers to innovation, and growing expectations from their customers.

As the pandemic hit full force, DiSanzo and her team recognized their focus needed to be in three particular areas: (1) protect the health and safety of Best Buy’s employees and customers; (2) protect the work experience to enable Best Buy’s people to help as many people as possible; and (3) position the company and its customers to come out of pandemic strong. DiSanzo shared that Best Buy looked at the emotional, physical, and financial health of its people and the approximately 1,400 care places it serves.

In those care facilities are seniors, one of the populations most susceptible to the impact of the pandemic. Best Buy realized it needed to make sure its employees were cared for, and that those people had the freedom and space for adaptability to work in homes or deal with the concerns of working in a common workplace. With thousands of people spread far and wide, this was no small task.

DiSanzo shared the immense pride she has in her team and Best Buy’s employees. She points to Best Buy’s inclusive leadership behaviors – especially empathy and grace – come alive like never before through the pandemic. Best Buy knew that many of its people were caregivers in their own homes, let alone professionally in care facilities. What became clear was that providing care expanded far beyond the traditional work Best Buy had focused on, as employees were helping other employees and clients with things like backed-up sewers and trees falling on houses. Best Buy realized that the lens it looked through about what it means to be there for others was far wider than anyone had ever known.

Getting through the pandemic was a matter of stepping up and stepping forward each day. However, it also meant that some days some people needed to step back and catch their breath as others took the lead. Insigniam co-founder Nathan Rosenberg regularly points to the harmony and coordinated action of a rugby team taking the ball down the pitch to score a try; the key thing is for each player to run, block, pass, catch, or tackle as needed keeping the ball moving forward even when, sometimes, the best way forward is slightly backward or sideways.

DiSanzo points to the secret sauce that kept the work moving forward and invigorated people throughout the toughest of times: Best Buy Health’s wonderfully empathetic approach and commitment to caring. The team kept its attention on making a difference in the world, and that focus helped people be able to get up day after day and provide what was needed to get everyone through.

The lessons continue in part 3 of this blog post series.

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