COVID-19 forces valuable lessons on society

Man sitting on chair holding a dog
Michael Metcalfe

Michael Metcalfe is the founder of Kynd, a Gold Coast based online platform and mobile app which simplifies NDIS support and disability work.

Kynd empowers and matches NDIS Participants and Support Workers. It helps them find the right support or work for their needs and includes roster, messaging and payment systems.

“When we first launched Kynd, we decided to build a digital first venture. This ensured that every single team member can ‘work anywhere, anytime’,” said Mr Metcalfe.

“This remote work capability has meant the transition to ‘work from home’ has created zero interruptions for our team, our services and our NDIS community.”

Because of their digital first model, Kynd has found itself well-suited to this environment, versus some traditional disability services with no virtual work tools and high fixed costs.

Like everyone, Mr Metcalfe, who graduated with an MBA from Southern Cross University in 2006, said that Kynd is monitoring and responding to new info and scenarios every day.

Impact on the sector

While on the one hand he says: “We will see many organisations shut down due to COVID-19 impacts”, he can also see the transformative impact it will have on the disability support landscape.

“In this new COVID-19 world, NDIS support remains an essential service and it’s a great opportunity for people looking for work and for technology driven solutions”.

“The seismic volume of job losses and business failures is sad. It’s shocking. We’ve all been forced to reassess everything.”

With COVID-19, change is critical

“We decided to rapidly launch additional services for NDIS Participants and Support Workers. This includes remote support (video support and phone check-ins) and indirect support (for non-contact assistance like delivering groceries) and it’s been popular.”

“Through COVID-19, we’ve been reminded that in business, your team and people are everything. Kynd is incredibly fortunate to have great people who are flexible, responsive and self-motivated. They have growth mindsets and care deeply about our community.”

Lessons Mr Metcalfe says Kynd has learnt, which he offers up as suggestions, include:

  • Conserve your cash
  • Prepare for anything
  • Move incredibly fast
  • Relationships matter
  • Involve your families
  • Be extra transparent
  • Over-communicate
  • Get super inventive.

“I think COVID-19 forces valuable lessons for our society. It shows we became complacent with innovation and technology. We now urgently need tele-health services, digital voting, paperless everything and virtual schools. We need less buildings, more bandwidth and less red tape. COVID-19 gives Australia a critical chance to disrupt itself to create a new future.”

“More than ever, we need to focus on the good stuff, be proactive and as always, be kind.”