- May 27, 2020
- Posted by: David Marshall
- Category: Management, Safety
People are talking about reopening the country and returning to work as if we can “return to normal.”
Except we cannot return to what was. There’s a total shift in our country’s paradigm in working, playing, and socializing, especially because the coronavirus is still contagious and spreading. And unless and until there’s a miraculous discovery in therapeutics and vaccinations that can be deployed worldwide in a very short space of time, there won’t be the same level of confidence.
That means people have to search out what their new normal is going to be.
For instance, we may have a tendency to overtip the people working their butts off to provide curbside service. But the truth is, that’s a very small percentage of the population who are doing that. For those of us who are properly showing our appreciation, will we return to that when we start going out to eat again? Will the non-tippers become more generous?
What about working from home? I’m not a big fan of working from home for a lot of reasons, but there are plenty of managers who are realizing 1) it’s entirely possible to work from home and have your entire workforce do it, and 2) most meetings could have been handled with an email.
A lot of managers may also find that their staff prefers working at home, and will begin demanding it. Companies will need to decide whether this will be their new normal and whether they’ll start creating schedules that allow people to work from home or in the office.
We’ve also begun realizing that relying on politicians and the government to solve these problems is a mistake. I was very heartened to see so many manufacturers stepping up to the plate and begin manufacturing face masks, face shields, respirators, ventilator parts, and so on, even if that wasn’t their original product line or core competency.
My friend, Donna, is part of a quilting club that quit quilting and started making masks. It was a totally voluntary thing and they did it because it was the right thing to do. They didn’t wait to be asked and they didn’t wait for the government. They just did it and contributed to the pandemic effort.
How quickly and easily can corporate America, the manufacturing sector, and even individuals solve other problems where the government has failed to act. As they once said on The West Wing, if the government were in charge of curing polio, you’d have the best iron lung in the world, but no polio vaccine. The accomplishments of our small and large businesses during this pandemic shows this to be true.
In the end, I think the new normal will mean that people who were already generous will continue to be generous, the people who were selfish and ignored others’ safety will continue to be that way. The new normal shows that people can create their own destiny and find their own solutions, rather than waiting for politicians to fix the problems. So if you want to create a new normal, look at the “humanitarianship” that we have seen over the last few months and do more of that. Don’t wait on anyone else to do it for you.
I’ve been a manufacturing executive, as well as a sales and marketing professional, for a few decades. Now I help companies turn around their own business, including pivoting within their industry. If you would like more information, please visit my website and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Photo credit: Cromaconceptovisual (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)