Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. As a result, a chain of a friend of a friend statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

Ironically, also known as the 6 Handshakes rule.

In this week’s article I want to address the challenge that Covid19 is posing to humanity by applying the Prosci ADKAR® Model, one of the most widely requested and sought-after models for change management. The ADKAR® model offers a structured approach to ensure that each individual experiencing change moves through the five phases necessary to make overall change successful.

(1)  Awareness: this is where we get the alerts from WHO and the data that is being shared globally on all media and social media. What some, unfortunately not all, countries are aiming at with the lockdown is to flatten the curve of infection, hence the pressure on ICU units in hospitals. For a country like Belgium (with a population just below 12 million) it was calculated that if the peak of infections comes too fast and at one time, some 50.000 ICU beds will be needed. While the country’s capacity is 3000. We can extrapolate to Kenya e.g. Kudos to Jordan, a country that is locking down with a minimum of not even confirmed infections

(2)  Desire: now that we understand the challenge we face, the desire should come from our family DNA. The family unit is the cornerstone block in which father, mother, and children can grow to be balanced and mature individuals. Including grandparents as the 2nd degree for all my readers. The social relationships spun therein are the foundation of the network of human society. If we keep spreading the infection by not adhering to the basic rules to curb the menace, we are killing the elderly and weaker in our society. Reference to capacity of the health care system: we do not have the capacity to deal with all the critically ill at the same time. Our grandparents will fall victim.

(3)  Knowledge: we have the data. We have the algorithms. pandemic is the outbreak of disease globally. SARS was an epidemic while AIDS was a pandemic. WHO has declared Covid19 a pandemic. That’s how serious it is. And we have the researchers who tell us to keep a little distance, avoid crowds and wash our hands regularly. That too is knowledge. So it is very disturbing to see people organize lockdown parties the night before the start of the announced lockdown. Careless madness.

(4)  Ability: we have the ability to slow this virus down. We have the data. We see what it can do from what is happening around the globe. China, Italy, now Spain e.g. We have the ability to learn and change gear. And we do not have to wait for the government. We can stay away from church on Sunday morning. Pray as a family. At home. Care for those affected. Support health care workers. We can decide not to panic and hoard toilet paper. Supply chains are working.

On that note of supply chains, as a great example of stakeholder capitalism: SAP has opened access to SAP Ariba Discovery, so any buyer can post their immediate sourcing needs, and any supplier can respond to show they can deliver. Free to post, free to respond. Open to everyone.

(5)  Reinforcement: the new infections rate and Covid19 death rate in China have already slowed down. Now we know that lockdowns work. We can use that learning to reinforce the need to lockdown. At the country, regional and local levels.

My call to all Millenials: you have grandparents. They are part of our foundation of the network of human society. They are weaker and our second degree of connection. Let’s not infect them!

Use your meme, which is a virally-transmitted photograph (pun intended) that is embellished with text that pokes fun at a cultural symbol or social idea, as a way to publicly call for a change of our behavior.

Written By Serge Blockmans

Serge is a Digital Transformation Executive at African Elite Group Ltd.