The Power of “One Community” and the Importance of Collaboration, Leadership and Influence

Swati Vora-Patel

Mar 26, 2020

By Swati Vora-Patel

With the imminent global COVID-19 pandemic, we are all reminded of an important lesson:

“Hardship brings people closer together if you share it” (John Wooden).

We are treading in uncharted waters. The hardships that we’re experiencing in our daily lives at work and home are not felt in solitude — even with physical social distancing measures in place.

Our circle of family, friends and co-workers share our fears, frustrations and hope; there’s comfort in knowing that we are in this together as one community. Our industry has pulled together to collaborate, lead and influence. Here’s how…

Collaboration: As this crisis continues to unfold, it presents an opportunity to recognize the strong collaboration that the electrical industry is exhibiting. Manufacturers, distributors, reps and customers alike have come to increasingly depend on one another to share best practices relating to health and safety, HR and operational efficiencies. You need only to look as far as the countless social posts that industry players are sharing — measures to improve working from home practices, social distancing in workplaces, splitting shifts, etc. It’s encouraging to see this cross-sharing of best practices in our one community. Check out recent industry activities on EFC’s Live Pulse web portal at: www.electrofed.com/coronavirus/ or in French at: www.electrofed.com/coronavirus/

Leadership: I recall a time a few weeks ago, when Electro-Federation Canada’s Board of Directors met to discuss the course of action for our annual conference. This meeting had been held prior to COVID-19 being named a pandemic, so the discussion wasn’t clear cut. The government hadn’t yet issued group restrictions, travel was not yet banned, events were still in motion. Despite this, the Board unanimously decided to postpone the conference to protect the health and safety of members. This was a critical decision at the time, as the EFC Conference yields a national audience of 500 electrical manufacturer, distributor and rep members — but a leadership decision that would mark a wave of other industry event postponements across the continent. All EFC events from now until the end of June have been postponed or cancelled. Stay informed on new dates, once announced: https://www.electrofed.com/events/

Influence: With federal and provincial decisions being introduced on a daily basis, many organizations are in a tailspin as they navigate financial relief opportunities, HR implications, and warehousing and operational restrictions. EFC has been at the forefront of guiding these changes in an effort to influence federal and provincial authorities on decisions that impact our industry — and our members’ businesses.

From EFC’s quick action on corresponding with all provincial premiers in an effort to emphasize our sector as an essential business, to collaborating with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and other partner associations as a co-signatory on correspondence, EFC is committed to working diligently to support members’ businesses during these trying times.

We are in this together — and will come out of this stronger!

These above examples of collaboration, leadership and influence all lead to one common achievement: our industry is sailin these uncharted waters as a unified community. I remain optimistic that the Canadian Electrical industry is well positioned to come out of this ordeal as a stronger community — let’s continue to share best practices and collaborate. John Wooden’s view that “hardship brings people closer together if you share it” is more important now than ever before.

Swati Vora-Patel is VP, Marketing & Channel Development, Electro-Federation Canada.

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