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Stories of collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis

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The Stories Inc. team was collaborating on a blog post about collaboration (hey, we walk our talk) before the coronavirus. The resources and examples we gathered would have been helpful to talent marketers in a pre-pandemic world, but currently are eclipsed by stories of collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis. However, collaboration is more important than ever.

Collaboration is our world’s most essential value right now. Collaboration is the only way that we can beat back the spread of the disease and flatten the curve. 

In response to the coronavirus, people are collaborating across departments, among entirely different companies, and across wildly different business sectors. Some of us keep working while practicing social distancing to keep businesses running as usual. Others must keep working or work harder than before for the good of others’ well-being. These societal agreements of “who works where” are essential to public health. In fact, healthcare heroes across the world are sharing social media messages urging everyone who can to stay home. 

Additionally, the worldwide scientific community is collaborating by learning about the coronavirus and pooling their knowledge to assess whether any already-developed drugs can fight it. And in a show of ultimate collaboration, medical manufacturers are working together to develop vaccines. 

Every day in this new landscape, we see stories of collaboration across industries, companies, and teams. Within healthcare organizations, cross-functional collaboration has particularly increased.

Collaboration brings testing on-site

We already knew firsthand that Ochsner Health System and its team members work together to “serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate.” Just recently we spent days on-site at their medical facilities gathering stories from Ochsner nurses and physicians. We saw an abundance of examples of Ochsner’s core value “TEAMWORK makes us stronger” in action. We uncovered stories of cross-team collaboration between doctors and administrators to provide patients with personalized and focused care. Also, we captured stories of teamwork between nurses, physicians and therapists to help patients and families.

Ochsner laboratory science teams across multiple Ochsner facilities, urgent care teams and administrative teams collaborated to deliver Louisiana’s first FDA-cleared, in-house COVID-19 testing. And now, this testing will allow Ochsner healthcare workers in precautionary isolation to know definitively if they can get back to work. The next group to benefit from the approved in-house testing: Ochsner’s patients. 

Collaboration rolls out rapid expansion

We learned of CVS Health’s emphasis on collaboration through our experience working with their Merchandising, Finance, Customer Care, and Pharmacy Benefits Management Innovation teams. But we are astounded by their current level of collaboration in response to the crisis. 

CVS Health is rolling out a new bonus program for frontline employees serving patients and customers in the pandemic, increasing safety measures for employees, and increasing retail volume. They’re doing this while simultaneously launching the most ambitious hiring drive in the company’s history. This large-scale organizational collaboration aims to meet increased customer demand during the crisis.

Collaboration to develop vaccines

Pfizer’s culture of collaboration stood out to us when we created content for their biomedical engineering teams. We learned how closely engineers at Pfizer collaborate with manufacturing, quality assurance, and support functions to serve patients. Together, Pfizer’s vastly different teams collaborate to launch and improve treatments.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that Pfizer collaborates on a global and corporate scale in their partnership with BioNTech to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer believes two medical powerhouses can accelerate the development and launch of a vaccine more swiftly than one. 

How is your company practicing collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis?

Stories Inc. has been finding encouragement and hope from the positive ways companies have been responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We cheered when we learned Dell Technologies was donating millions to frontline organizations to stop the spread of the virus in China and locally, and matching donations up to $10K for all 157,000 of their employees. We also were hopeful hearing that in this medical mask shortage, Merck is donating 500,000 personal protective masks to New York City, site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. 

If you have a story, of how your organization and colleagues have either worked together or helped others during this time, we want to hear it. Please send us a note. We’d like to feature more examples of companies proving their values through actions in this crisis.