Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 07/12/2021
There are a lot of people I hear talking about “returning to normal.” The media are talking about businesses returning to “pre-pandemic levels.” Yet, there are obvious and profound changes that have occurred and have gained traction, such as remote meetings, take-out (high end) food, and career reevaluations.
My parents had a “system” of using envelopes to save for the rent, the car loan, and groceries (the envelopes were almost always empty). Our lives are not sacullated, not compartmentalized into self-sustaining containers. To exactly what “normal” are we trying to return?
Here’s the scoop, intelligence from the abyss we faced: We’ve learned some things that we ought to retain, such as entertainment at home is better than dirty, noisy theaters, and that we don’t need to assemble 400 people in a convention so that they can lie to each other about how well they’re doing. We’ve learned about some things that we ought to jettison permanently, such as polarization, which even the pandemic couldn’t overcome, and obsessive competition, which should give way to more collaboration (hoarding is simply stupid). And we’ve learned there’s a need to acquire some things many of us didn’t possess sufficiently, such as financial reserves, lattitude of action, and support networks.
You want to return to normal? That’s a rallying cry for complacency. If this isn’t a time for reflection, prudent risk-taking, and innovation, I don’t know what is. If you can’t do this independently, get help. Because there will be another microbe, another calamity, another abyss. You can be prepared and on the high ground, or “back to normal” and in the quicksand.
“No mariner ever enters a more uncharted sea than does the average human being born into the twentieth century. Our ancestors thought they knew their way from birth through all eternity. We are puzzled about the day after tomorrow.” —Walter Lippman
“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” —James Thurber