I believe it's as William Gibson describes in 'The Peripheral', a series of catastrophes (known as the Jackpot) that bring about a long drawn out decay of society as we know it.
And, if we reflect on what’s happened since the start of the millennium, the echoes are Grand Canyon-esque.
From flooding to fires - glacial melting to boiling point geo-political unrest - through to the manipulation and greed so present in technology firms and banking fundamentally shifting our relationship with 2 of our most existentially important means of survival - our minds and our money.
Throw in Coronavirus and it’s raw, visceral, real and right in our faces. And, humans are shit at thinking about long term implications and taking action.
Knowing you may die of lung cancer and even sticking a flaccid penis on a pack of 20 won’t stop you. Coughing up blood and having a shadow on your lung will kybosh that - almost certainly, sadly, too late.
We have immediate existential challenges (I never thought I’d ever write or say that but hey). The world is going through an apocalyptic, already written about shift. Our way of life, individually and organisationally is being shaken to it’s core.
So why are we talking about ‘waiting for the new normal’. Like everything will be getting back to what we feel comfortable with.
Like, if we see it out long enough, everything will just go back to how it was. That the elastic will just snap back into place and we’ll be living how we were.
Perched alongside Vladimir and Estragon still waiting for Godot as the curtain falls for the final act.
My rallying cry to you all today is, if you’re thinking about and waiting for the new normal. STOP!
If you’d think it’s going to ride into view and we’ll all be saved. STOP!
If it’s language that you’re using with a smile and a chuckle and a shrug. STOP!
When your grandkids ask what we did to change the way we lived in 2020, will you look them in the eye and tell them ‘Ah yes, that. We sat and wasted it while we waited for the new normal’. That we wasted the biggest opportunity we ever had?
Didn’t think so.
Now is the time to get out of the funk, take control and ownership and be the impact you want to see in the new future you want to create.
First up, I don't know. I am not a 'futurist', a medium or a time traveller. I do believe in action. And having the right frameworks in place to make sure you're in control. So, how you think about this next bit is down to your agreement with what you've heard so far.
The author and speaker, Natalie Turner describes the possibilities as a ‘new extraordinary’ - a fundamental shift in how we live, work and exist in which we all play our part however small in changing the world for the better. You don’t have to change the whole world. Sometimes, you just need to change someone else’s world to create massive impact. And, if you’re leaders in organisations, you can create massive impact for yourselves, your teams and your businesses. Starting today.
The mindset shift to get to a position where creating the future is challenging. Even though what is happening to us is right here and right now, there’s still a nagging legacy mindset that changing the future still isn’t ‘immediate’ enough for us. Until it’s too late. So knowing where to start is critical.
Also, recognising the amount of work required is sometimes a huge blocker. Back in the day, lots of people spent lots of time thinking that the future of maps was simply photographing Ordnance Surveys and making them available digitally. That felt like a comfortable new normal - mix old maps with new technology. And when Google said this is ridiculous and proposed satellite images and cars driving around every street to build their maps from the bottom up, people thought that was outlandish, impossible and equally ridiculous. Now, we all use Google Maps, they power sat-navs, estate agents, traffic reports, crime reporting and a whole host of other things. A truly impactful view of the future designed and delivered.
In week one of lockdown, I lost 50% of my half year revenue overnight. I knew that by the time I waited for a new normal, my business could be dead. I’ve therefore spent the last 10 weeks rebuilding the business, understanding more about my consumers, learning new skills and refining my thinking. And, I did it using the simple but powerful Operating system that shaped how I looked at what needed to change so that I can fulfil the impact I want to see in the future. And, it’s one I am using with my global clients to help them shift their mindset and create the future impact they want to see. It is simply Unblock, Unlock, Unleash.
Work through, identify and be prepared to kill the old thinking, tools, behaviours, processes etc that don’t work for you pre, during and post the lockdown:
I recognise that this isn’t easy and the business and people who hold onto things may want to tighten their grip further. Those that said the sales teams can’t possibly work from home who’ve seen no shift in productivity will continue to deny it. Those brands that say the old way of targeting and behaving will stay appropriate even though the world now looks through different lenses will simply get eaten - if you’re not self-aware enough to work out what’s not fit for purpose, if you’re waiting for the new normal, you’re waiting for someone to eat your dinner. In large gulps.
Actively, purposefully and determinedly seek out opportunities to inject new thinking, ideas, mindsets, processes. Scour for inspiration, learn from those around you, nurture it from within your teams.
Sitting and waiting is not an option. You either move or die. And, now’s the time to create that future, the new extraordinary. Be the impact you want to see.
the Boom! Operating System is helping me and my clients worldwide find a creative way to turn what is happening right now into actionable, impactful ways forward.
Stop waiting. Start creating.