Markers of growth

"Education can be understood as growth and, furthermore, growth is the marker of a truly educational experience."

We had been lining up a post about Mortar's acceptance onto the London & Partners business growth programme for a little while. As ever it was a struggle to strike the right tone between honest, self-congratulatory achievement and apostolic techno-babble eulogising. Then COVID-19 began making the news, and soon after the headlines; it is difficult to offer any kind of quirky corporate summation in the shadow it now casts.

The Warren Buffet quotation has been used in social commentary several times now. “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who has been swimming naked...” Past market corrections have helped to highlight the dangers of financial over-extension, laying bare the over-eager capital exploits of the foolish, ignorant and greedy. This is, however, not a correction in the markets. It is a scary prospect, that people will not be ready for what we are going to witness when the tide begins to expose the damage that is currently taking place. What we are reading and listening to is dismaying, to say the very least. This concerns a heart wrenching number of fatalities to expect as well as catastrophically detrimental long-term economic and social repercussions.

In the spirit of growth, that we all as a community work towards to create and achieve, we compiled a short set of links to papers, threads, visualisations, and a podcast that have been useful in gaining a better understanding of the current situation. We hope that these provide some benefit and that people feel able to contribute to the commentary that will be necessary to support one another on the long road that lies ahead. The list ofresources can be found here.

As the pandemic progresses we'll continue to write about its impact on the sectors we work within, on our clients and on our own working practices, under the title Markers of Growth. Already several sectors have declared that this pandemic represents a period of rapid uptake and investment in technology. We are a little more sceptical of the speed of the transition to technological solutions, given the immediate need for resources to ensure business survival and the reconfiguration of the workplace. Despite people's best intentions, to optimistically promote their fields of work and expertise, it is sensible to recognise that the tide is only just starting to go out, and that the pandemic itself, let alone its repurcussions, might last at least one if not several years.