Much of the discussion taking place during this challenging period reminds me of a very old joke:
One day a person is out walking and happens to find a river. As they were marvelling at the wonderful landscape around them, they noticed another person on the other side of the river. So, they called out to that person “hello, how do you get to the other side?” to which the other person replied, “you’re on the other side”.
Many people today – media and general public have added the following narratives to their discussion around today’s working environment:
- When things get back to normal;
- When our life returns to almost the way it used to be;
- When we get to the other side.
And I’m sure you can list several more. But, for me the issue is that this narrative is conditioning us to believe that what we are experiencing right now will pass and that we will end up in a better place. While this may be very true, we cannot fall into the trap of letting this influence our behaviour, as it will stifle forward motion.
The reality is that we are already on the other side and we must manage the “here and now”, so that we can best influence/determine our future.
The most successful people and businesses will be those that are agile in both thought and action together with entrepreneurial thinking and allowing themselves to be vulnerable (a key ingredient of innovation). There are many examples of this type of behaviour already – gin distilleries adding the production of hand sanitiser to their product offering, or manufacturers switching to the production of face masks, as an example.
So, welcome to the other side and let’s all lean into the new normal as we create the new future.