Soapbox: Does COVID-19 change everything?
Business was already moving at lightning speed but what you do in the coming months will likely define your future.
If you thought we lived in a chaotic, endlessly shifting world before coronavirus, brace yourself. You may want to hide. Every fiber in my being wants to lay down and watch Netflix all day. The disruption we are facing is overwhelming, and how we navigate matters.
I’m seeing a lot of people post on social media about how COVID-19 changes everything. I know I’m not alone wondering what will be left with when the virus finally subsides. Will life return to what it was? Will everything be normal again? Will my retirement fund bounce back? I wish I knew.
But what if those are the wrong questions to be asking right now? After all, wasn’t business already moving at lightning speed? What happened to AI and blockchain upending and disrupting everything from healthcare to advertising? Ah yes, those were simpler times.
In order to orient myself, I’ve asked a lot of smart people to help me answer this question. However, the answer I’m getting most often is: “I can’t think about that right now.”
I don’t blame them. The change ahead feels overwhelming and scary even for those of us who embrace innovation and change.
But this is also an important time to take stock both personally, and professionally, about how business will be reshaped in the short and long term. Not just marketing.
Short term, the cards will fall where they may. Unemployment will spike (it already has). Companies will fail or falter (they already are). Things will be nuts for a while (we all feel it, don’t we?). And the constantly changing situation has us running in circles trying to find ways to make our work (if we are still employed) relevant in these times of uncertainty.
My question is more long term. Will people return to their old patterns, or has everything indeed, changed? Will industry rebound? Will my e-mail marketing trigger campaigns once again earn 50%+ open rates? Will we ever shake hands again?
John F. Kennedy once said: “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” (危机)
Take a moment to recognize we’re in crisis. You are allowed. We all are.
But take note of the opportunity facing you because regardless of how “everything will change” or not, what you do in the next day, week, and months to come will define your future.
Crisis or opportunity – you choose.
Instead of watching Netflix and pondering our demise, let’s bounce some ideas off each other on LinkedIn and talk about what’s going on to help each other.