By CM Strawn 4/25/20
The only thing that is certain is change
This is a universal truth – the more things change the more they stay the same.
Technology has changed the way things are done between 1990 and 2014. It didn’t happen right away; it took some time.
Here’s the thing: When technology gets invented, it takes a while before someone figures out how to make it work profitably. These are the forward-thinkers; the people who make things happen.
Any change tends to upset the apple cart of status quo. Those determined to hold on tenaciously to doing things the way they have always been done are bound to become undone by the way things are going to be done.
This current crisis is causing change
The current COVID crisis is causing a sea change in the way business is done. Social distancing is becoming the new norm.
Change has occurred over time in the past but life as we know it has changed virtually overnight.
Business as usual has been stopped cold by the government shutdown. New ways of doing business must be developed on the fly.
Those who are nimble enough to change and adapt to the new norms will find themselves out front in the new economy.
Platforms like Amazon and Netflix are making forward strides while people must stay home. Even when restrictions are eased, these kinds of platforms will not lose much of their momentum.
Creative thinkers will view these changes as opportunities and figure out ways that social distancing can be turned into an opportunity.
What other creative ideas will spring from the inconvenience of the COVID lock-down?
Adaptation is the key to sustained success
There will always be change. Those who are open to opportunity will profit from it.
The age-old example is the buggy whip. At that time, it was inconceivable that people would use anything other than horses for transportation.
Then came horsepower in the form of the gasoline engine.
Buggy whips quickly became obsolete. Factories that didn’t adapt to new technology and changing times went out of business.
Similarly, before the computer and digital technology, records were kept by hand on paper and stored in file cabinets.
As computer technology continued to advance, forms were filled out digitally and stored in the cloud. Paper records and filing cabinets became all but obsolete.
Winds of change are again blowing across the land. Adaptation, as always, is necessary to remain viable.
Nimble creative thinkers will find needs to fill in niches that arise from this current crisis.
Local disasters cause change
Floods, earthquakes, tornados and drought are all reasons for change in an area or region. These disasters disassemble local life and force change on that population.
Those who are not prepared may not recover. Others chose to rebuild and adapt in spite their circumstances.
Preparation is only a single step in recovery. A foresight for what people will need is a gift most desired by creatives.
Work-from-home is the new normal
Even though this has been a trend for over a decade, the remote worker is how business will be done going forward.
Work that has traditionally been done in an office or cubicle will be moved to the home office.
A benefit to the business will be lower overhead operating costs since a smaller workplace will be needed.
For working parents, this will help lower child-care costs.
On-site businesses aren’t going away
Even though life as usual will undergo drastic change, some services and products will continue to be necessary.
For instance: There is a push to convert to electric vehicles. Charging stations could replace gas stations.
But heavy-duty gas and diesel engines will continue to be necessary for industrial use. Fuel deliveries will continue to service these operations.
Manufacturing, shipping and receiving, gas stations, grocery stores, construction, farming, trucking – among others – are all examples that require a staffing presence.
Sections of the economy will undergo drastic change while other sections will remain pretty much the same.
Conclusion: Flexibility is the key
Change is unavoidable. Those who adapt to change will continue and thrive.
People will be working closer to home and many, if not most meetings will be conducted online.
Many tech industries are already using these forward-looking practices.
The more flexible a business is the easier it will be for them to be in front of change.
Businesses that are top-heavy and bureaucratic will be bogged down and slow to respond. This may cost them their customers.
New niches could be created in this climate of change. Smaller, more nimble companies that can move quickly will be in perfect position to gobble up market share.
Change can be friend or foe. Whoever allows change to help trim the fat and innovate will emerge in front of the pack.