The Great Division
What happens in the corporate world post covid?
The isolation economy caused by covid forced us to change. It forced us to accept pre-existing technology that we had resisted e.g. remote working, zoom calls and online collaboration became a necessity.
As we overcame our inertia to change then this in turn allowed for new possibilities as the the adoption of more industrialised technology enables new wonders to appear. These basic patterns of the evolution of technology, inertia, forcing function and times of peace, war and wonder are staple parts of the mapping diet. Nothing about this isolation economy induced by COVID was surprising which is why we were so able to accurately predict its general effects.
Nothing should surprise us about what will happen next. As we move into the post isolation economy and pressure of the forcing function that is COVID is reduced then some companies that have adapted fully will appear to accelerate compared to those that will attempt to return to old patterns of work driven by issues such as power and status between the physical and virtual world. That top floor office, that expensively furnished boardroom will turn out to be a curse.
We should see a bifurcation of society with some companies accelerating far ahead of the pack. This will be compounded by a new time of wonder as those accelerating companies spur creation of new services, new practices and the resultant confusion of terms this creates as we explore the uncharted but adjacent possibles.
For many, as they slam on the brakes by returning to the office, they will face a future of increasing confusion, uncertainty caused by a bewildering array of terms and competitors that seem so far ahead that they are almost magical. For others, they will barely notice the change as they accelerate far beyond others by simply continuing with the adaptations that they have already started.
Acceleration is relative.
The single most important factor for any company in this time will be the imagination and willingness of executives to adapt to the change. Many companies will face a grim future as executives exchange the adaptability that was forced upon them for the warm comfort of an expensively furnished top floor office. Bifurcation and the twin forces of creation and destruction (known unimaginatively as creative destruction) will wreak their havoc as they have done so, many times in the past.
This will be a time of the great division, between the haves and the have nots, between varying rates of speed in the corporate world. Don’t be so willing to rush to return to the office, act in haste and you’ll repent at leisure.