COVID-19: Finding A New North

Reflect, rethink & revise written on Dice

It is certain the situation regarding COVID-19 will keep changing rapidly, so with that in mind here are some of the ways we have changed our mindset to overcome uncertainty, adapt and visualise a new future.

We needed inspiration to discover how we could move forward as a business. In order for us to move forward, we had to go back and revisit why we started and why we chose our company values.

Our company values are Adaptability, Integrity and Curiosity; when we wrote our company values a few months ago we never imagined just how soon they would be challenged.

All of these values held the answer to assist us during these unprecedented times.


Wooden street sign with 3 direction saying this way that way and the other way

This is our biggest strength for success during these challenging times. We recall writing on our website that facing a challenge from a different perspective or angle allows us to be open to change and continue to advance in our field.

We never imagined that a few weeks later we would have to cancel all our courses and send out an email to all the delegates that had booked places.

It initially seemed like it was over before it had really started. We had so many questions – ‘are we safe?’, ‘how long will we have to stay at home?’ and the question that raised the most consideration was ‘what will it be like when we can return to business?’

Establishing a ‘new normal’

For YourNorth, having groups of people in a room to deliver training is our business, so what is the new ‘back to business’ and what does it look like?

Social distancing may continue long after the government relaxes the rules and with that in mind, our business model could be affected for some time.

Our North sets out our values and we stated that we cannot control everything that happens; however, we can control how we react to it. At no stage had we thought of quitting however we can see how many would have considered this option, especially now.

Looking for employment elsewhere and having financial security would usually be seen as be easy option, but not during these times where people have been furloughed or losing their jobs completely.

For those of you who maybe considering giving up your self-employment dream, we encourage you to revisit the reasons you started, and from these reasons establish your values and create a vision for the future.

It was at this point we found the solutions to implement our best second start.


Type writer with paper saying do the right thing

Upon reviewing this value, we rediscovered ourselves as the professionals that we are. Imposter syndrome could sometimes be responsible for clouding the image we had in the beginning of our journey, that seed moment from where the business idea grew.

We encourage you to revisit your experience, write down your achievements and congratulate yourself as there was a very good reason you planted the seed and it deserves to be watered.

It was this value that reminded us of our professional principals and the reason behind why we do what we do.

It is so easy to forget who we are when we wear so many hats and going back to the beginning can give some much-needed nourishment and reasons to continue.

Being proud of our past is the key to a successful future.


Small plant sat on two stacked books with a sign sticking out saying stay curious

It was our curiosity that muted the negative chatter in the mind and allowed us to focus on new ways to seek out knowledge, cultivate our intuition and search for ways to further understand how YourNorth can thrive.

We began this journey with nothing more than a seed, with an aspiration for it to grow into something great. Curiosity is a value that springs life into everything.

To inspire curiosity in others is why we do what we do and we have to remain curious ourselves if we are to learn new ways to improve our business and allow for growth in the darkness.

So how did we change?

It was our values that gave us much-needed inspiration during this challenging period on our journey.

Firstly, we had to adapt while remaining true to ourselves and harnessing our curiosity to being open to change.

Adapting our content to be facilitated online was the biggest challenge we faced. Our content can be very emotive so we have to be very considerate of our approach, especially when discussing topics that could trigger strong emotions and memories.

Body language is difficult to read online with so many faces on screen, and impossible when cameras are off.

The lack of physiological feedback is a constant consideration of ours but this challenge has allowed us to view what we do from a brand-new perspective.

We are adapting the way in which we describe issues around mental health that we would not have discussed in as much detail before. For example, social & self-stigma and how many people may never seek help because they believe what is been said about their condition.

This topic alone can generate discussions that have a real impact in the workplace and can be a light bulb moment for those that may have missed the signs that someone needs support. 

This has allowed us to articulate our vision in new ways and has generated deeper understanding of our content.

Who are we?

Head silhouette with sunshine from the forehead

Reminding ourselves of our personal and professional history while developing our social media content has really energised our passion.

We had honestly forgotten many achievements that have fuelled our ambition over the years and it is in recognition of these achievements that we believe we can do more.

Our moral compass has been created by our experiences and it’s so important to be proud of what we have done and that we use it to motivate us for the future.

Our time away from delivery has been spent updating and researching social media to ensure people are aware of our values and understand our journey.

We will always act with honesty, transparency and consistency to develop long lasting professional relationships.

Without this time to reflect we fear our outbound message would have been rushed and our engagement with the world seen as just a task to complete day to day.

Having spent this time considering the value of our online presence we have a clear and positive attitude toward social and professional engagement, we have come to appreciate it for what it is, and what it can do for our business.

Explore your curiosity

Our curiosity has been the driver behind our research and it’s the reason we ask ‘why’. I do recall asking why often at school, as I am sure we all did as you don’t know what you don’t know.

It’s only as I became older that not knowing seemed to be viewed as a weakness, when in fact questioning seemed to spark heated debate or generate a look of disappointment and loss of credibility regardless of how sensitive your approach.

I have witnessed countless errors due to choices made from fear of ridicule, so we have a lot to learn from our childlike curiosity. Having a military background would suggest that I was accustomed to the autocratic lifestyle, and for many years this was true, and there is a place for it, but the when and where are dependent on the quality of leadership.

I believe questions derived from curiosity will create opportunities to inspire growth.

With this in mind we have examined our course content and updated the material to better reflect what people need.

We have more information on the science behind effective stress management and greater understanding of the technology we can use to show real time improvements from the methods we introduce.

The more we explore, the more we can fuel your curiosity.

What can I do?

Revisit your reasons for starting, describe the feelings associated with your passion, challenge your ideas by being curious and define your vision to building a successful business.

However you approach the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, make sure you prioritise your health and the health of the people around you.

Seek out help if you need it, and offer help if you can. If there’s anything you would like to talk to YourNorth about, please get in touch

To see our online courses visit:

Jamie Farr


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