The coronavirus pandemic has proven to be one of the most disruptive occurrences to happen in modern history. Starting in mid-March of 2020, something happened that would have been considered unheard of on January 1: Everyone was forced to change in some way — and with so many business closing their doors, and large numbers of employees globally sheltering in place and working from home, we turned to digital solutions like never before.
From a business perspective, you were either shut down, like bars and restaurants, or you were booming, like grocery stores and pharmacies. And with no clear end to the pandemic in sight, there were, and still are, extremely high levels of uncertainty to deal with, on both a personal and a business level. Unlike the Great Recession of over a decade ago, the coronavirus pandemic was not the result of a rapid industry decline like housing prices dropping to foreclosure levels, or a dramatic stock market crash due to bad loans. This was quite a different disaster, creating unique problems we had no experience in solving, as well as new types of opportunities. The solutions — from a vaccine level, a business level, and a government level — would need to be quite different as well.
We cannot turn back the clocks and undo the damage the pandemic has done, but we can move forward with an anticipatory mindset and a firm plan of action. For many decades now, and in all industries, digital disruption has been on an exponential curve upward. Because the pandemic forced us to turn to technology for help on both a personal and business level, the pace of technology-driven change increased dramatically, far beyond merely exponential levels. Now that this change has been set in motion, the question remains: What do we do now?
Having a plan is always a key to success. There is an old saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” I would add that it is equally important to build the likelihood of change into the plan by making the plan a dynamic plan (as opposed to a static plan that is unchangeable). But both during and after the pandemic, successful planning requires more than a simple business forecast (of events…