That’s a hotel room number I won’t forget, having just spent 14 days quarantined in it.

On the plane from Sydney to Auckland, I felt quite relaxed about it, to be honest, aside from the eeriness of being one of only twelve passengers on board. I had prepared myself by completing one simple task. I read the daily blog of Rebekah, an Australian woman who had just completed it with her husband and their two little kids.

Nothing like putting things into perspective – thanks Rebekah!

The short story is the days galloped by and the customs, health, police, defence, transport and hotel staff made it a streamlined process. That may not be everyone’s experience of being quarantined but it was mine.

A few reflections:

  • From landing to check-in at the hotel took 2 hours. That is a seriously streamlined process given it would have required the collaboration of several agencies to map it out, with risk lurking everywhere in the shadows. What else do we think is efficiently and effectively mapped in our organisations and industry to meet the needs of the end-user but in reality isn’t?


  • The open-door policy of leadership is a great one but boy oh boy you get a lot done when it is closed. In a demanding and increasingly complex environment are leaders creating the space to pause, to think deeply and not feel guilty about how that gift of time might be interpreted?


  • There is a sweet spot that exists between aspiration and expectation. As I mentioned, I read Rebekah’s blog to keep mine in check. To discover the hotel had a courtyard you could access to get fresh air and sun on the face exceeded my expectations. To then learn ten people at a time could be bused to a secure wharf to exercise and watch the ferries go by was game-changing. Are we paying enough attention to achieving it and the satisfaction it brings?


  • Technology really is an enabler and the more I thought about it in 612 the more I appreciated its ability to remove all barriers, except one. The ability to work productively, stay connected to family and friends, listen to podcasts, read and research obliterated the isolation of isolation. The one barrier it didn’t?


  • I described the process from landing to check-in as streamlined but more importantly, it was kind. As passengers, I wondered if we might be met with suspicion or even derision. Did you really have to come? The second we disembarked officials said “Kia ora, welcome home, welcome to New Zealand” and that was repeated by the nurse, the customs official, the bus driver – everyone. Are we paying enough attention to the profound impact kindness has on the user experience?