You thought you had this whole COVID thing down. You moved all of your folks to work-from-home and got ready for the new normal, but you never thought it would go on this long. You thought things would be back to some semblance of normal by now. I mean, the year is almost over.
Here we go again. More lockdowns, more disruption. You (and your business) are reeling from multiple body blows. How can you deal with this?
The problem is simple: you still believe in something called “the steady-state.”
Some think that even the new normal is “normal.” The scary truth: Normal no longer exists. There can be no normal any longer. We have entered the realm of the disruption rollercoaster – it’s a series of disruptions, one after another, and we have no idea what is to come next.
I’m always amused when I hear the term. Like it’s a real thing. The reality is that there is no such thing as normal any longer.
Change is what’s normal. This series of disruptions with COVID, racial strife, the election, followed by the next black swan – and the next, and the next, is the real new normal. The new normal is one “black swan” after another.
If you realized that the new normal is one disruption after another – how would you do things differently?
- One, you’d plan less. How can you possibly plan for anything when your plans will likely have to be tossed out the window.
- Two, you’d be less surprised when things change – when disruption happens, you don’t worry – you embrace it.
- Three, you design around resilience, bouncing back from when things happen.
You can’t prepare for the unpreparable. You can’t plan when you have no idea what is going to happen next. Agility is not just nice to have; it’s essential.
The only way to deal with the rollercoaster is to enjoy the ride. Understand that we are past the top – we are hurtling into the future, and we can’t even see any of the twists and turns ahead of us. It’s exactly like Disney’s Space Mountain – we are in the dark and just have to handle the turns as best we can. If we can’t see anything, we can’t control anything; we just have to lean in with the twists and turns.
We can’t control what’s coming – but we can control our reactions to what comes at us. We can lean into the curves by feel, even if we can’t see where we are going.
Even if we have no idea what’s around the corner, we can either take the turns with trepidation or exhilaration. It’s your choice.