This week we learned of another COVID-19 variant: Omicron.
This new strain appears to be much more transmissible than previous versions, but may not cause as severe disease–it’s too early to tell. It was first identified in South Africa, but has now been found in a dozen or more countries–including the US and Canada.
So what did many countries do? Shut down travel to/from Southern Africa immediately. The problem is that by the time scientists realized this was a new strain, it had already spread to just about every continent. Shutting down borders now is like locking the barn door after the horse has escaped.
This is not only not useful, but it’s punitive for the medical personnel in South Africa who very astutely recognized a new variant and promptly shared their findings with the world.
If we punish those who expose new variants, how likely is it they’ll continue to serve up new information as received–only to be slapped in the face for doing so?
Many businesses talk about being learning organizations where failure is encouraged and not punished. But, in reality, too often the natural instinct is to take out bad news on those who are brave enough to call it to our attention.
The only thing worse than hearing bad news from a messenger is not hearing anything at all–because the messenger was shot down previously.
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