As 2020 has shown, predictions can be futile. Trying to predict the new normal post-pandemic will be frustrating at best. However, we invite you to consider that you get to define that “new normal” —an environment that you get to create and shape for yourself, and then empower others to do the same. Why? If we examine the past, people tend to only see two options after this crisis is over: attempt to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic, or carry on with the life created during the pandemic.

We argue that neither will set you up for success in the long run. For example, during the dot-com era, recall how people reacted to the advent of the internet. For those who attempted to go back to the way things were, they continued to send brochures through direct mail to homes and ignored the new opportunities created by interactive websites. For those who tried to keep up with the dot-com era but only on the surface level, businesses simply scanned their paper brochures to create an online presence. What they didn’t realize was that the transformation to a digital presence entailed much more. These players did not fundamentally shift their thinking and strategy to adapt to new ways of reaching customers. The real winners that emerged from that era reimagined and reshaped a new world of business communications by developing robust online marketing and advertising campaigns.

With that in mind, post-pandemic, what is the future that you can begin to imagine and shape now? What are the fundamental shifts in trends that you can identify today? For example, telemedicine is here to stay. Even and especially in traditionally highly regulated industries, this is an opportunity to begin inventing a bold and bright future for your organization. This could start by looking at your current organization and asking questions about ‘what if’: Are our culture and organizational structure set up for rapid decision making? What if our corporate culture was set up so that people at each level felt empowered to make decisions in order to move fast? How do we operate as leaders? What if we were a group of leaders that could not only execute but also inspire our people to see the bold vision? What are the current ways of working on our teams? What if our teams of employees were set up to address issues in projects immediately and efficiently?

Whatever those conditions may be, consider yourself a pioneer in bringing this new approach to configuring the future of your company.

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