March 3, 2020
John Lennon and Flexibility
I’m half-wondering if blogging on a website is going out of fashion. But maybe blogging is a way to try to Take Back Control in these strange and anxiety-provoking times.
The truth is, though, that we have no control.
The recent virus outbreak, and the accompanying economic contagion, reminds us all of that timeless John Lennon quote: that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. The perfect description of 2020 so far. This will be a year when the highly-adaptable and the super-flexible will do better than those who stick doggedly to Plan A.
Many of the plans that I had laid down a couple of weeks ago are now changing, or will have to change. So, being flexible is turning out to be a valuable personal and business trait. My work involves helping organisations to be clearer about their competitive advantage. In 2020, many organisations will need to adapt their market-facing messaging. Already, I’m helping clients in affected sectors to adapt what they say, and how. We’re having to adapt. We’re having to be flexible.
John Lennon’s quote has always been true. It just turns out to be more true in 2020.
I’d be interested in anyone’s thoughts on how to keep planning in a world where plans can quickly go out of date.
In troubled times like these, it’s worth remembering that ultimately it’s always about the quality of people that businesses look to to help them find solutions to their particular problems that makes the difference in the end:
For “the only geniuses produced by the chaos of society are those who do something about it. Chaos breeds geniuses. It offers a man something to be a genius about” -B.F.Skinner.
Whatever plans need to be changed because of events outside our control, it’s the most flexible of mind who will find the answers.
I had a feeling that a legal mind might have something helpful to say on all this. Thanks McP.
Perceptive and thoughtful as ever. All we can do is keep our risk level as low as possible by minimising contact and maximise hygiene efforts. And try not to worry and definitely don’t panic.
Hi Mark, on a slight variation of Michael’s slant above:
We are all infinitely more successful in responding than in taking the lead. The majority tend to fear and hide more and have less of a platform to work on. With all disasters we tend to reflect on what good came out of it. What will it be this time? Flexible working hours finally understood to be a positive? Virtual office software that is more efficient? Better credit financing flexibility from commercial banks for the SME? Taking some time off helping to reduce pollution and climate change?
What happens when the world has to stop for a few weeks and we need help? Good people step up, or get given a chance to! Maybe the geniuses are the enablers of some new ways.
Thanks for this. You’ve got me thinking about the current crisis triggering long term change.
Apart from the things you list, there’s:
– Remote doctor’s services (protecting doctors as the driver)
– Remote education services (ditto, re teachers)
– Contingency planning for more virtual events
– Fairer sick pay for casual and low paid workers
– Protection for vulnerable industries
– More investment in trains
– Less business flying generally
– Innovation in the insurance and travel markets
– GB only holidays in small spaces (cottages) will become more popular than foreign holidays to big hotels
– Long term stock piling by consumers – of many categories of products
– Supply chain diversification and de-risking via more local sourcing
The list goes on !
Good to hear from you. Let’s keep in touch.
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Brand refreshment is probably overdue:
2 years ago
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