Everyday Wonder: Thinking differently about organizations in COVID-19 times


Editor’s Note: The following series “One Year Later” is a week-long series curated by Sarah Fox as part of the Digital Research Internship Program in partnership with ViaNolaVie. The DRI Program is a Newcomb Institute technology initiative for undergraduate students combining technology skillsets, feminist leadership, and the digital humanities. 

 As we enter March in 2021, many of us can’t help but feel like we haven’t even processed the events of last March. The COVID-19 pandemic quickly went from a small news story thousands of miles away to up close and personal as we packed our offices, dorms and apartments to move inside. Marking the one-year anniversary, “One Year Later” is not meant to further highlight things we miss or how our lives have been negatively affected, but to demonstrate the resilience of human nature and how we’ve adapted to extraordinary circumstances.  

This article and podcast takes an interesting look at how organizations in our lives can turn from bureaucracies to methods of human interaction. Organizational consultant, Dr. Beverly Edgehill, is interviewed and gives her insights on this idea. This article was originally published on ViaNolaVie on May 29, 2020. 

COVID-19 has given us a chance to rethink the role of organizations like governments (and toilet paper suppliers!) in our lives. But what if we go beyond our bureaucratic image of organizations and think about them as any type of gathering that fosters human connection? What if we saw our neighbors — or even fellow shoppers waiting in line to buy groceries — as organizations? Could that maybe help us get through these times?

Guided by our guest, organizational consultant Dr. Beverly Edgehill, on this episode we go beyond the notion of organizations as bureaucracies to explore their roles as vehicles for human connection, including:

  • What the many informal organizations in New Orleans can teach us all about coming together in the wake of a “disorienting dilemma” like COVID-19.
  • The importance of being honest about our motives in being part of an organization…and what deep parts of ourselves we might be looking to heal
  • The power of remembering our individual and collective strengths (vs our weaknesses) as we go forward and seek to become even stronger.

On one hand, it’s a different kind of Everyday Wonder conversation because the times are different. On the other, it’s a continuation of what we’ve been talking about from day one: The wonder of what humans can do and how we can be, individually and collectively.

Given the times, this episode was recorded remotely using Zoom. The quality may not be great, but we hope the conversation is!


Dr. Beverly Edgehill, whose career has been about the wonder of the connection between the individual and the organization. Dr. Edgehill received her PhD. from Columbia University where her research focused on the ways that women learned to have career success. She currently acts as a global organizational consultant.


Brett Will Taylor, who is fascinated about the ways that individuals show up in the “organization” of collective consciousness

Renee Peck, who is all for discussing anything that might bring us closer together instead of further apart.


Darrell Rollo, a New Orleans comedian who was worried the episode would be too deep, but found things that connected with his own experience.




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