The human toll on both Israel and Palestine is unfathomable. Already, more than 1,500 people on both sides lay dead, with more certain to come.
Nothing is more important or tragic than the human cost. But there is also a business component of this war that will ripple far beyond Israel and Palestine.
CNN reported that business leaders in the United States are expressing solidarity with Israel and working to help their employees in the region.
“This past weekend’s attack on Israel and its people and the resulting war and bloodshed are a terrible tragedy,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in a memo to employees, obtained by CNN. “We stand with our employees, their families and the people of Israel during this time of great suffering and loss.”
In a similar memo, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon wrote: “All of us at Goldman Sachs are thinking of you and your families in the face of this shocking aggression directed at the people of Israel. The dynamics in the Middle East have always been difficult and complex. But, these attacks are terrorism and violate our most fundamental of values.”
Regional staff for both companies have been asked to work from home for now, CNN reported.
Business coalitions including the Partnership for New York City and The Business Roundtable also condemned the attacks and stood with Israel.
Why it matters: Another region of our world has once again exploded into open conflict, and it will impact us all — both as people witnessing horror and as organizations doing business in a global economy.
Those with employees in the region, like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, must work to protect their workers and other interests. Those with no connection to the Middle East will still be affected by spiking oil prices and the destabilizing effect of yet another war, even as the Ukraine-Russia conflict rages on.
This is the time, first and foremost, for organizations to take care of their staff — mentally and physically — however they can. Avoid performative statements and instead focus on action and empathy. Be prepared for a long, rocky and unpredictable road ahead.
Editor’s Top Picks
- Consumers are losing some interest in buying from organizations based on their social stances, according to new data from the new Bentley-Gallup Business in Society Report and reported by the Wall Street Journal. Only 41% agree that businesses should generally take a stand on social issues, a decrease of 7 points over last year and seen across all ages and ethnic groups, the poll found. However, younger consumers and Black and Asian consumers are still interested in buying from companies that speak out, and a majority of groups agree that businesses should engage in both communication and action on environmental and mental health issues. Pick your battles, understand your audience’s needs and go beyond mere words.
- X has reportedly rolled out a new ad format that Mashable calls “weird” and “one of the company’s least transparent products yet.” The ads don’t disclose that they’re ads at all or who pays for them. They can’t be retweeted and are not connected to X profiles. Mashable reports that they resemble the low-quality content served by networks like Taboola and may indeed be purchased through syndicates rather than being sold directly by X. Remember that transparency is always wise and it’s imperative you understand where ads will appear — lest it become a PR issue.
- Generative AI might be in for a “cold shower” in 2024, according to predictions from CCS Insight and reported by CNBC. Specifically, the cost of the technology needed to sustain AI will settle in and regulations will begin to catch up. However, CCS Insight predicts that legislation in the EU, often the regulatory trendsetter, will be delayed and require multiple revisions to meet the needs of the moment. Some of these predictions are already being borne out, as data from Appfigures indicates revenue is slowing on flagship ChatGPT, TechCrunch reported. Generative AI is not and never will be a magic bullet. It may change the way we work, but the complexities at play mean the revolution will not come overnight. Continue to experiment but don’t put all your eggs in one basket.