We have to come to an end. It is not enough to write, read and talk about the new circumstances that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it is time to embrace, realize and shape a new environment. We strongly believe that active, pragmatic and optimistic people create the world of tomorrow. We are part of that group, and you should be as well!
Spending valuable time complaining and arguing does not help any new circumstance. Eat it or leave it. If it is something you can control or effect, then do your best to steer it into a good direction. If it is out of your control, there is not much you can do, so don’t waste your time. Focus on the the elements of a problem that you can affect, control and contribute to a better outcome.
If you understand and like what we at Digitopia have compiled, then you should switch to the next step. You should have a plan to incorporate “The Better Normal” into your everyday life. As a conclusion of this report we would like to give you some practical advice to conduct in your own environment. Please let us know the outcomes and what your “better normal” looks like. Good luck. May the digital forces be with you.
Automate “the now”; focus on “the next”
As of 2020 many companies would claim that they are highly automated, which may be true. The interesting thing about automation is that there is basically no upper limit to it. This means you can go grow exponentially, virtually, forever.
How, you ask? Continuously, there are new technologies, new approaches, more data, better skills, new algorithms, and much more, which gives you new possibilities. In some cases, the benefits are marginal, but sometimes they can be also enormous. So, it’s worthwhile pursuing the road to extreme automation.
Automation means systems, flows, and business units, which operate as much as possible without human intervention, struggle, and usually without error. Insurance underwriting, warehouse fulfilment centers, supply chain integration, assembly lines, customer service, healthcare diagnostics, and much more can all be automated. Machines, algorithms, and vertical and horizontal integration can do much more, much better, much faster and much more precisely what humans can do.
Once you have automated to the extremes, you free up valuable time for your human employees to focus on improving everything, and generating new ideas to deliver meaning and true value to your company. Humans are creative, they are compassionate, they question, they wonder, they discover new pathways for growth. This will give you an edge, and differentiate you from the rest.
As a result, the less you will talk and work on operations, on “the now”, and the more you will have time to shape the future, think and work on “the next”. Once you are that stage, you will understand the difference and you won’t want to go back.
The Pendulum Test – Balance your Reactions
Human beings are very emotional. And since organizations consist of human beings, they are emotional as well. As long as we can balance emotions with rational thinking, we can develop productive companies. However, if we make emotions the sole drivers of our decisions, allow them to shape our behaviour and design our business models or workflows, then we might run into issues. Especially if we are overreacting, which can happen often.
Overreactions can manifest as anger, hatred, blind love, feelings of ecstasy, or even blackouts. Usually we don’t recognize when we are in that state, because the chemistry of body and brain changes fire rapidly and rational thought is paused for some time. This might happen rarely, but when it happens, you should not make important decisions, since the ability to think clearly may be quite limited.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a lot of overreactions: extreme caution, extreme ignorance, sudden shutdowns, fear of isolation, believing and saying that nothing will ever be the same, and much more.
There were overreactions before the pandemic and related crisis as well. Everybody needed to come to the office every day, commute for hours, and check-in to the office just to proof they are physically within the company boundaries, with litle to no regard for productivity or creativity. There are several examples circulating the internet from customer service departments about how companies have missed the mark when it comes to taking care of their employees during such traumatic times: how we have handled complaints, wishes, new ideas. These examples have not always been nice, beneficial or humane.
So, there must be a wise middle ground, a balance. Ask trusted people around you if you you think you may be overreacting. Whether it is as a person, as a department, or as an organization. Find and keep those trusted people close to you, you will need them more often than not, because times are changing, and the world is in constant flux.
We call this the “Pendulum Test”. If you are not in balance, the probability that you are overreacting is high, and the outcomes usually will not be beneficial. The difficulty is in understanding when and where to apply this test, and how to get back to a balance. In personal life you may do some sort of meditation or sports or reading. So, you must also find a way for your organization to calm down, breathe and find your balance, and then make the decision.
Maturity is a Natural Process
Some things in life take time. Having a baby takes 9 months and a few days. Speeding up the process of things that take their time does not really work, or has the potential to bare some difficulties. Preparing a decent cup of tea or coffee takes some time. You could expedite the process with tea bags or instant coffee, ut the taste, the aroma, and the experience will not be the same. And the list continues with wine, olive oil, education, healing of injuries, and so on…
If you rush it, you’ll crush it.
This is true for organizations, industries, even whole nations. Maturation, progression, and evolution is painful, takes time, is cumbersome. Usually, succeeding causes a lot of blood, toil, tears, and sweat.
So, take your time. De patient, be consistent and persistent. Stay on track, don’t allow setbacks to demotivate you. Don’t allow temporary difficulties to change your mind. Focus on your goals and on your vision. Time will prove you right and honest progress will solidify your strengths, and eventually you will reach your target.
Once you have reached your target truthfully, you’ll see that you are much stronger, much wiser, and more balanced than all the others. You can’t trick progress. It’s focus, hard work, and staying focused. The success will come, but it will come when the time and the circumstances are right.
Remember Alice and the cat. “What road do I take?” The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
Know your goal, your target, your vision. Then, just keep on walking, keep on evolving, keep on maturing, and make sure you are on track. Eventually you will reach your destiny. Once you are there, you will discover the next step. Bon voyage…
THE BETTER NORMAL SERIES
THE BETTER NORMAL #1: “THE BETTER NORMAL” WILL BE CREATED BY US
THE BETTER NORMAL #2: NO WAY OUT!
THE BETTER NORMAL #3: SYSTEMIC CHANGE OR NUDGE FOR THE BETTER NORMAL
THE BETTER NORMAL #4: A CRITICAL APPROACH TO DIGITAL
THE BETTER NORMAL #5: A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PERSPECTIVE
THE BETTER NORMAL #6: THE “REAL” RESILIENCE OF SUPPLY CHAINS
THE BETTER NORMAL #7: AIM FOR DIGITAL GREATNESS
THE BETTER NORMAL #8: THE BALANCED VISION
THE BETTER NORMAL #9: OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE
THE BETTER NORMAL #10: Don’t Carry “Covid-19 Impact” Too Far
THE BETTER NORMAL #11: Workplace of the Better Normal
THE BETTER NORMAL #12: The Post-Covid Era Requires Digital Transformation
THE BETTER NORMAL #13: The Time of The Synthesists Has Come
THE BETTER NORMAL #14: What Pandemic Has Taught Us About Digital ROI
tHE BETTER NORMAL #15: NOT FRAGILE BUT AGILE
We are trusted advisors to many great companies on their digital journeys. Our passion and focus help businesses succeed. Digitopia is an objective and independent management consulting firm driven by values and delivering tangible impact.