Post Corona Days: Back to normal? Not really- Part One

What is the difference between change as we know it 

to Post-Corona change; what are its new corporate trends, and what can executives do to tackle this challenging period?
-Part One-

By Nili Goldfein and Galit Diamant

After a two-month Global lockdown alongside excessive hysterical data sharing by media networks on Corona death rates and quarantine regulations, organizations are now getting ready to resume work or what they call “back to normal”.
Yet the phrase “back to normal” is no longer relevant: it belongs to past times, when change was occasional and well-behaved, mostly presenting itself in light familiar forms of economic recessions or regional wars at worst. Now, the Coronavirus change is a first timer for all of us. It’s transitional and transformational, incorporating a spiral of change within change within change, and has literally replaced V.U.C.A (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) with ‘disruption vortex.
We will not be picking up where we left off. The Post-Corona corporate world will be nothing like it was, as it has forever changed numerous core assumptions, some of which will have an immediate impact on our organizations. Let us take a few moments to recognize and understand them, before getting back to work.

Humans -Technology

Numerous corporate trends reports have found an inherent tension between technology and people, including terrifying notions that machines, artificial intelligence and virtual reality will erase tens of millions of jobs. Smartphones, social networks, autonomous cars, and remote analytics are few examples of how technologies we invented have changed our lives. But technology is not our enemy; more so, it reflects our distinguished human superiority in terms of emotion, care, education and motivation.
While the Coronavirus has forced us to work intensely than ever with remote communication technologies and platforms, the lack of genuine togetherness has left us longing for human contact, sometimes even depressed by its scarceness. At the end of the day we are spiritual, emotional, and intelligent human beings, and as such we need physical touch, intimacy, intention, and containment that technology will never be able to supply.
Therefore, every sensible organization should apply wisdom and compassion when incorporating precise and proportional dosages of technology into human work interaction, while aiming to maximize long term efficiency and value. In the long run, there will be plenty of room and need for live discourse, shared sitting areas, morning conversations over coffee, professional development, proximity, and technology-based learning.

Technology cannot and should not be stopped, but rather be used to complement human teamwork, within a synergetic relationship where the whole is forever greater than the sum of its parts.

Physical -Virtual

This tension is derived from the Human-Technology axis earlier discussed yet takes it an extra mile which can result in both effectiveness and efficiency. The quantum leap to virtual platforms that all workplaces have been forced to take during Corona times has paved way for redefining the concept of work. Work is no longer a place to go; it is a task carried out by teams that are not necessarily fixed in job definitions, ranks or organizational structures. Virtual reality can indeed save time and money on rent, car maintenance, flights, and hotels, especially in times like this. However, as Genetic researchers have said time and time again, we are much closer to caveman. tribes than to UFO’s descending from flying saucers in the sky. In other words, virtual solutions are great, if they do not compromise our physical essence.
Learning is also affected by the tension between virtual and physical realities. Many bodies of knowledge can be learned through simulated, stratified reality or artificial intelligence facilities. For example, airlines and skiing sports have long realized that boarding a simulator instead of an airplane or a ski slope, saves countless hours of flight, fuel, manpower, accidents. Yet, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, people need human interface, feedback, and compassion.
Yet when leading integrated risk and opportunity strategies or tactics, it is no longer enough to prepare document and collect data to assess the right way to tackle product mix, business lines and pricing. The rapid shift in focus, technology and operating routines has raised the need for corporate leaders to address other human capital issues such as staff mix, cost reduction, resource flexibility, agile infra structure- and more. All C-level executives must re-learn how to work together while relying on Big Data, to build the necessary re-scaling and up-scaling processes for organizational and professional transitions, and must further engage in creating added business value for their new organizations.

Love, pride, respect and discourse are delicate currencies in the motivational and connectivity marketplace, and serve as means for creating fertile ground for creative thinking and learning.

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State – Corporate

Countries around the world have responded differently to the lockdown of public spaces and borders. Some have immediately reached out to support their citizens and/or businesses, others have not implemented any support mechanisms whatsoever, leaving it up to Philosopher Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand to channel the restoration of the economy all by itself. What can we gather from this? Not sure. Perhaps that we cannot rely on others and have no choice but to take responsibility, grow up and save ourselves and our organizations.

When doing so, we must create several strategic scenarios in case of additional crises, including worst case scenarios where governmental subsidies or bank

financing will not be available. Creative solutions that have begun to emerge in the old world, such as outsourcing freelance experts part time, collaboration with competitors, cost reduction through technologies or risk management can help us in this challenge.

Anything goes, provided we prepare ourselves for the worst and that our solutions do not rely on past support. This time, it is all up to us.

Stay tuned for Part 2: How can we rise to Post-Corona challenging tensions between organizations, talent and eco systems?

Nili Goldfein– EVP Marketing & Business Development at NGG Global Consulting Solutions, specializing in Leadership and Management in a World of Disruption.

Galit Diamant is an independent bi-lingual writing expert, editor and organizational storyteller.

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