During the height of the Coronavirus, NPR published a story about Hotel Corona. Hotel Corona, previously known as the Dan Hotel, in Jerusalem, became a hotel for people recovering from the Coronavirus. Over 200 people from all walks of life, ages, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds were forced to live together during their recoveries. Two negative tests for COVID-19 were the only way out.
If you have 35 minutes, listening is well worth your time. But, to summarize, these individuals started as you would have expected. Each religion or group stuck to its own. Very little interaction occurred, and very little commonality was found. And then things changed. There could be many reasons, but regardless, the Hotel Corona became a singular community by the end. It wasn’t easy, but it was clear. One people with one mission – to recover and to do it with respect, empathy, and understanding.
What does this have to do with you? With your organization? How can this apply to working through zoom?
Taking from a recent Seth Godin post – what the guests of the Hotel created was a community. They were not defined by their individual characteristics but by their shared goal. That did not make Orthodox Jews any less Orthodox or Muslims any less Muslim – they were still themselves.
Without a doubt, Coronavirus has changed how we work, balance our work, interact, and even build and maintain communities.
But what Hotel Corona can teach us is that Community can overcome immense obstacles. Without in-person conversations, water cooler talk, or an office to go to – the story should teach us that community can be built from anything. A community can overcome thousands of years of bad blood (and I realize I’m overdramatizing one story here), but it’s true.
What’s the lesson here?
With the right shared goals, a strong community can overcome historical challenges far more significant than any internal disagreements your organization has faced. If you are facing conflict at your organization that is preventing progress – think about the challenges that the folks at Hotel Corona had. Think about how they pushed through their differences and created something beautiful. What will unify your organizational differences and allow you to create something beautiful?
Let’s get started.
References and Resources
Coronavirus unites Jerusalem at “Hotel Corona” by NPR; Type: Podcast
How to Start a Movement; Type: Article
- During the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, NPR published a story about a hotel in Jerusalem called Hotel Corona, which became a place for people recovering from the virus.
- Over 200 individuals from different backgrounds and religions were brought together in this hotel.
- Over time, the community created in Hotel Corona became a model for overcoming obstacles and differences in pursuit of shared goals.
- The ability to overcome hundreds of years of animosity towards each other is certainly something we can learn from (and should learn from) when we find ourselves with differences of opinion.