There's No New Normal. There's a Next Normal. Here's why.

18 May 2020

Society as a whole, organizations worldwide and every single one of us, we are facing a deep crisis, one that very much feels like a storm. We all have to face the current and try to navigate through it, but that doesn’t mean we’re all in the same boat.

Many of the ships currently navigating the coronacrisis have enough gas left in the tank or are equipped strongly enough to make it through until the storm clears. Others are doing whatever they can to stay afloat, some ships won’t be sailing around much longer.

Successful business today are not just focusing on business continuity but are also preparing for the future. Not an easy task, but one that is very necessary.

As a result of the covid-storm we’re facing, society will undergo several changes, sometimes driven by government decisions. One thing’s for sure: organizations will have to find a new status quo in the post-covid world. Customers and employees will have to shift gears and companies will have to adapt. We’ll see changes in flexible work, e-commerce, supply chain, data-driven decisions etc. and we’ll have to make sure these changes are executed from a holistic but pragmatic perspective.

‘New Normal’ Is The Talk Of The Town…

No matter the channel you look at, everyone’s talking about these changes as being ‘the new normal.’ This is, however, a container term that brings about a certain risk: we’re at risk of questioning everything within an organization or the broader societal context. Which, by extension, means that we’re in danger of questioning everything that’s still perfectly good (from processes to technology) and is in no need of change. If we do so, we may end up creating problems that aren’t there. Yet, the old adage that was true before covid still holds true today: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

… But We Should Be Talking About the ‘NEXT Normal’ Instead.

So, while the ‘new normal’ is the talk of the town, it would be much stronger and much more precise to look at things from a perspective where we talk about the next normal.

Next Normal

‘Next’ instead of ‘New’ indicates a mode of thought where not everything is or has to be questioned. It will help us maintain everything that still gets the job done, and to focus on the challenges we’re facing while creating the new status quo. Organizations that excel at adapting to this new status quo will lead the charge tomorrow. Being the fittest to adapt is important, not just once, but continuously. And over and over.

So, join us at AE in using the next normal. We’re already at work with that frame of mind.

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