2020 Reflections

2020 reflections & our ‘new norm’

Many of us are still coming to grips with our lives and businesses as 2020 comes to a close.  The year started with the Covid-19 pandemic that caused chaos across the globe.  It forced many of us to rethink, reflect and reset our lives and businesses.  To date, there are more than 1.7 million deaths and more than 80 million casualties globally caused by Covid-19 (Worldometer, 2020).

Vaccines have finally come to fruition symbolising hope that we may be turning the curve on the pandemic.  Indonesia was the first Asian country out of China that received received 1.2 million doses of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine on December 6 (Straits Times, December 6, 2020).  In the United Kingdom(UK) a grandmother became the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab.  (BBC, December 8, 2020).  Many more countries have since received their vaccines as part of their country wide mass vaccination programme.

Though there is a growing sense of optimisim, there is still uncertainty related to infectiousness, prevalence, and lethality of the virus.   To add to the complexity, three new coronavirus strains were detected in recent weeks, in the UK, South Africa and Nigeria.  This unfortunate discovery is still of concern even though none so far have been found to contain mutations that make the virus deadlier, or negate the effectiveness of vaccines (Aljazeera, December 25, 2020).  It however led to the return of international travel restrictions with more than 40 countries that have barred UK arrivals, restricting movement, cross border economic activities etc. (BBC, December 22, 2020). 

Market lockdowns and social distancing are now regarded as a ‘norm’.  Lockdowns have unfortunately led to a global recession, with many businesses and companies adversely impacted and millions of workers furloughed (BBC, June 29, 2020).   Companies have had to re-evaluate their survival strategies, and productivity levels as consumer spending patterns continue to shift. 

Interestingly, the pandemic has triggered the acceleration of the use of technology.  Today, eCommerce and the online presence is a way of life or a ‘new norm’ eg. Ali Baba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival generated US$74 billion in gross merchandise volume.  Ali Baba said that the 11-day campaign from Nov 1 to 11, saw an increase of 26 percent in sales compared to the same timeframe in 2019 (NST, November, 12, 2020).

LinkedIn’s analysis for the most in-demand jobs suggest that learning and development professions and tech talent are on the rise.  The analysis found that while hiring was down, learning is increasing.  It also noted that while hiring has stabilized, learning could see another spike, given that Training Supervisors grew by 183% in the past month. (LinkedIn, 2020).

2020 is indeed a year for accentuated self-reflection, introspection and reinvention.  It’s a year not only to reflect on happenings but also to identify real opportunities  and mitigate risks, moving forward.  It’s a year to appraise what the ‘new norm’ means to you and your organisation, as we gather self-resilience, persevere and stay open.  

Moving forward, it is about taking cognisance of the various scenarios that impact our lives, to seek out opportunities and to novel recombine, as we slowly but steadily make sense of the road ahead.

Hence, what is your ‘new norm’, implications and scenarios that you can build to reduce uncertainty for your organisation?  Have you started your journey in this new chapter of our lives?

#newnorm #reflection #scenario #learning&development #strategy  #productivity

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