Covid 19 changes nothing.
Property Academy speaker, author and award winning marketer Grant Leboff, made a provocative statement last week: “Covid 19 changes nothing” – (I wonder if you’re having a similar reaction to that of the audience on the webinar?) – after a pause he then added, “it accelerates everything.”
I’m sure many of you could cite examples that shoot this statement down however for me the only word I’d change is “nothing” – “Covid 19 changes some things, it accelerates everything” – but that wouldn’t be as attention grabbing.
So what, you might be thinking – well let me share with you why I think this insight is profound and helpful.
We’re going through three phases, one of which is broken into two chunks. We have the old normal, the next normal and the “awkward bit in the middle.” This middle bit can be divided into what’s going on now, (90% lockdown still in place) and part 2 when lockdown begins to be more widely eased and people get used to social distancing. The next normal won’t occur until social distancing is no longer required which will probably occur once a vaccine has been developed, tested and is widely available. This might take some time, forecasts vary but 12-18 months is often suggested. What this means is that new habits and working practices will be formed during this awkward bit and become part of the next normal.
- Video conferencing isn’t new – it’s now normal.
- Video interviews aren’t new – they’re now normal.
- Online shopping isn’t new – it’s become the default for most things.
- The changes to the High Street aren’t new – the move from retail to experience, from transaction to investigation has been accelerated.
- Working from home isn’t new – it’s now “working from anywhere”
- Flexitime isn’t new – it’s become very common rather than the exception
- 7 day working isn’t new – 7 day weekends are, (“what day is it?”)
When you look at this period as an accelerator as opposed to the mother of all change, it alters perspective. This was going to happen anyway, we’ve just jumped forward five years or so. Rather than being threatened by the changes we could choose to look at them as helpful – as a friend of mine who’s a senior manager in the NHS said to me, “it’s great, all the politics have been parked, the endless meetings, debates and procrastination have been replaced with action, the faster the better.”
Adaptability isn’t new – the speed at which you need to has increased substantially. Covid 19 has accelerated everything.
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