Posted on 18th May 2020 by Emily Semple


A few weeks ago I wrote an article on LinkedIn called Why Corona Made Me Cry – and the response from the business community was heartening. The feedback gave me the encouragement I needed to reach out to business contacts to share experiences. Through this sharing, I gathered insights which I found motivating, inspiring and uplifting – exactly what I needed, and what I felt others might need too.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow was developed and produced by YOURgb in response to these kindnesses as a way to pay it forward – a platform for these insights to be shared with my wider business community. We created this online event for people in business, to explore what we can do NOW, to shine in the ‘new normal’.

I loved every second of this live event, and I am so grateful to our wonderful panel of speakers for giving us their time. It was a pleasure to work with them, and a joy to hear their thoughts and learn about their business approaches to this epidemic.

Within this article I will share the key learnings from our event, along with the link to watch the full and unedited recording of it.

“It was a positive exploration of actions we can all take in leadership, culture and business planning, in the wake of COVID-19.”

With the kind support of the Scottish Business Network we engaged with a panel of professionals with rich and diverse business experiences to share their feelings and advice on how to stop waiting, and start creating.

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Poonam Gupta OBE: CEO of PG Paper Company Ltd

Professor Donna O’Boyle: Professional Regulatory Adviser to the Scottish Government & registered nurse

R Michael Anderson: Californian Software Entrepreneur & Professional Leadership Mentor

Russell Dalgleish: Chair of SBN & Managing Partner of Exolta

“Superb online event, professionally delivered and I have to say 3 of the best talks I’ve heard during my lockdown captivity. Well done to the speakers and to YOURgb for making it all happen.”


Watch the full unedited recording of YOURgb‘s Somewhere Over The Rainbow HERE!


The gathered insights:

  • We can’t sit and wait for the ‘new normal’, we need to create it
  • Stress testing your business is vital when faced with a crisis
  • We are all facing the toughest journey yet where difficult decisions are essential – the key is bringing employees with you through honest communications
  • It’s time to get up and adapt and look at other businesses for inspiration
  • Staying calm and being patient is key – if that can be spread amongst your team you can deal with any situation
  • Clear leadership is required, optimise productivity by supporting and enabling teams
  • A COVID-19 exit strategy is vital – as a business owner we are responsible for keeping our staff safe
  • Culture can make your organisation thrive or dive
  • Employees will help you innovate – they are so important so involve them in the journey
  • When you think smarter and quicker, the changes you need to harness become clear
  • Be the person you want to be and see the change you want to see
  • Listen to your employees – they will know how to streamline procedures and processes
  • Re-engineer where you can – look at the market in which you operate
  • An ‘open door policy’ is too passive – you must be out there speaking with your teams
  • Articulate your strategy so everyone understands it and all can provide input to make it a reality
  • During times like these, leaders need to bring their best to the table – everyone is relying on us
  • No matter the situation, consider yourself a role model. In a leadership position, you are a role model whether you like it or not!
  • When things get tough your character is tested and reputation defined
  • Honest, strong, positive leaders are needed right now
  • A positive community is very important to support through a crisis
  • Hard decisions are necessary – if your organisation doesn’t survive then no-one wins
  • Connecting with customers and employees is critical in a crisis and it will improve your mood!
  • You need to be authentic and vulnerable to connect with others – you do that by believing in yourself
  • Accept who you are as a leader – people are drawn to a leader who is comfortable with themselves


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