“What was once slow is now fast; once fringe, now mainstream; once far away, ever-present. Once ridiculed, now eagerly accepted. We’ve shifted forever. Adaptability defines us!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
It’s hard not to think about the fact that we are coming up on three years to the start of the global pandemic; many of us will mark the start of that period of time by the day that the NBA shut down. That’s when everything seemed to become real.
Since that time, it’s pretty obvious that the world has changed in very fundamental ways. So have we! I mentioned this in a mailing I had yesterday to many of my speaker’s bureau representatives, commenting:
Three years ago this week, all of us came to realize that our world, as we knew it, had been shattered.
As a bureau representative, you were suddenly dealing with a massive number of cancellations and complex contract and booking circumstances. Speakers like myself were scrambling to put in place some sort of virtual offering. All of us were hunkering down in fear and panic, and yet at the same time, somehow, focusing on what to do next.
We were all in a state of shock, and wondering where we might be in the future. Three years in, we’re now in that future!
As an industry, we’ve learned many things over the last three years – how to reinvent fast, manage the volatility, keep our optimism fueled, and be relentless in focusing on opportunity.
And finding growth when that growth might seem elusive.
How has our experience of the last three years changed the future? In remarkable ways. Here’s a list:
- it has changed the way people change – it’s made them change faster
- it has made people more open to change
- it accelerates their adaptation of new ideas
- it has accelerated collaboration and teamwork
- it has accelerated the shift of work/life balance
- it shifted the industry shift to new business models faster
- it’s made many people far more open to those very same new business models
- it accelerated the adaptation to virtual relationships in everything we do
- it exposed weak organizations to greater scrutiny
- it made strong organizations stronger
- it helped us adopt the energy of relentless optimism
The list goes on. In essence, the global pandemic accelerated the acceleration that was already underway in our world.
Which begs the question – the future shifted.