I don’t know whether it’s simply a case of 2020 fatigue but I have definitely noticed a shift in the conversations I have been having with business leaders. In March when the first lockdown started, a large proportion of people would talk about “after” – after the lockdown, after the vaccine, after this, when we get back to normal. I didn’t think that then, I definitely don’t think that there would be a going back to life as it was in February 2020. Too much has changed for us to go back to the way things were.
I was in a meeting yesterday where the first order of business was to discuss what the new announcements regarding lockdown meant for a range of activity going on in the business. It was delivered as if it was as normal as discussing that people needed to confirm their menu choices at the Christmas party.
This… this is now normal.
Perhaps it is a slow dawning of the reality that CoVid won’t be over by Christmas. It feels a bit like historians will be scoffing at the naiviety of people who thought it would be a short term interruption to life, a bit like we scoff at the belief by our forebears that “our boys will be home by Christmas” in the WW1.
Even if we in the UK get CoVid sorted in the medium term, and that is a huge IF, the virus is global. The pandemic is not going to be done with the world for some time to come. For example, we were planning to go to the US in July 2020, I haven’t rebooked the holiday because I’m not yet certain it will be safe to go next July either.
So what does that mean for business leaders?
Choosing to wait for a Post-Covid world has lost traction. The realisation that the pandemic isn’t going to be over and any semblence of normal life returning any time soon, vaccine or no vaccine has meant that many business leaders have realised that do nothing and hope to survive is not a survivable strategy. For many business leaders the harsh reality has hit home that they just don’t have time or a business climate on their side to survive by hunkering down and hoping for the best. Sadly, that also means the number of businesses and business owners giving up is going to accelerate in the coming weeks and months.
But even for these businesses that have lost so much, giving up doesn’t have to be part of the equation. The question for all businesses right now has becomes;
“What can we do WITH CoVid as part of our reality?”
Given your resources, your talents and your organisational capabilities, what do your products and services begin to look like if you take the current environment as the new business reality? What can you pivot to… rather than focusing on what you leaving behind?
What happens next is filled with more unknowns than knowns. The reality facing many business leadesr is that Post CoVid might never happen, it might just be integrated into our way of life so that it stops being a clear and present danger. But in that scenario, how we do business will have to pivot to integrate our current reality into our business strategy.
4iforum was developed as a direct response to CoVid, to help business leaders think the unthinkable and develop resistance to shock inspiring fresh and vibrant responses that offer protection to both the organisation and employees. My current pivot is that help is now baked in as a required leadership capability going forward.