The next normal
A little bit more than a year ago our lives changes forever when our country went into full lockdown. People were talking about the ‘new normal’, while everyone was unsure what exactly that would entail. Fast forward to today, and there is still uncertainty about what is in store for us.
In an article published by McKinsey about the next normal, they discussed trends that business leaders should keep in mind in preparing for what is to follow and why 2021 will be the year of transition. If nothing unexpected happens, we should be able to look forward to shaping the future rather than just trying to survive the present.
And yes, the next normal will be different and generations to come will most probably discuss the world in future as pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 eras.
- Consumer confidence bounce-back As consumers start gaining confidence, they will start to spend more and businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues will be emphasised. The reality is however that spending will only recover as fast as the rate at which people start feeling confident about becoming mobile again.
- Leisure travel bounces back, but business travel lags People who travel for pleasure can’t wait to get back doing so, and domestic travel is surging. The pandemic has proven that with the effective use of technology business meetings can continue – this might bode the beginning of a long-term structural change in business travel.
- Waves of innovation and a new generation of entrepreneurs The pandemic has seen tremendous growth in digitisation – everything from customer service to remote working has been impacted. This disruption has created space for entrepreneurs to launch exciting new products
- Acceleration of the Fourth Industrial Revolution The great gains in the use of technology and new forms of working will be sustained and w so will even the improvements in productivity. Many organisations have transformed during this time, and this will be sustained.
- Changes in shopping behaviour The majority of consumers say that they have tried new kinds of shopping and that they intend to continue to do so – this means that brands need to figure out how to reach new consumers in different ways, otherwise they will be left behind.
- The future of work arrived ahead of schedule Before the pandemic, the idea of remote working was in the air but not proceeding far or fast. We have however been forced to transition to remove working almost overnight. Two important challenges are highlighted in the article relating to the transition from office to home. One is to decide the role of the office itself – this has traditionally been the centre for creating a culture and sense of belonging. Companies need to make decisions around this. The other challenge is adapting the workforce to the requirements of automation, digitisation and other technologies.
- Green is the colour of recovery Worldwide the cost of pollution and the benefits of environmental sustainability are recognised and businesses need to start responding to sustainability concerns of their stakeholders.
You can access the full article here.
While the effects of the pandemic will be with us for many decades to come, it seems the new normal might just be better − provided leaders can provide a strong foundation on which we can grow and continue to make the world a better place.