• JW Hall

“The future ain’t what it used to be”

Yogi Berra? Meat Loaf? Paul Valery? Who on earth wrote that?

No matter - it still covers a raft of truths.

Business leaders today are peering anxiously at their world trying to build a future.

One eye is straining through the microscope of current operations to manage every detail in order to ensure short term survival.

Simultaneously, the other eye is glued to a telescope, scanning the future.

The consequence of this mental trick is a headache!

Big businesses have the scale to get different people to fill the roles of operations and strategic planning. They can independently achieve clarity and allow the most senior leaders the luxury of clear advice from those executives who specialise in managing the micro and macro separately.

Smaller organisations lack the capacity to split the roles. No SME has the resources to do this in detail and for the moment, their survival tends to demand from them complete control of the detail. Lift concentration from the world of now and the house of cards is likely to collapse. Despite which demand, it is equally true for the SME and the corporate giant that long term success depends on effective foresight and proper strategic planning.

How often do we hear that infuriating phrase used to describe the post Covid-19 world: “the new normal”. I loathe it!

Let’s be clear. There isn’t going to be a "new normal" at any time in the comfortably foreseeable future. The next few years will be best characterised as a white water ride of change. It is unlikely that any of us will feel any sense of normal at any stage. There will be change, more change and yet more breathless change. Don’t let it get you down because, to survive it you are going to need to ride the surface. Bumpy; certainly. Wet and cold; undoubtedly. Exhilarating too.

All the old bets are off. If you’re an SME and you are planning to end the furlough and go back to work in the next few weeks then you had better be sure you are planning for a new type of work. New rules, new environment, new world. Not normal.

Samantha Jones, Project Manager

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