From adversity to advantage, our new normal.
We are all developing unexpected skills now.
From mask makers to conspiracy theorists, post COVID-19 postulators, to social distancing aficionados, our world just got more orderly, risky and mind-bendingly different from 2019.
One thing is for sure. Going forward, we must choose what we take with us, how we streamline our existence, how we position ourselves and our businesses, to accommodate the potential of being there, at a distance; virtual presence, our new normal..
We have learned who is organised,
who is not and that timing is not only ‘everything’,
it saves lives.
Lock down does not mean locked up. The thoughts and ingenuity of millions have been forced, going forward, to become creative, innovative, productive and optimistic, as we all must become part of a concerted response to complete disaster.
We all know now what 6 feet looks like now and its life saving significance.
For those who disregarded the internet, a website or online functionality in the past, COVID-19 and its restrictions brought about many epiphanies. Curb side collection almost exceeds takeaway, as a new and improved shopping experience.
We say all of this because we recognise that there are new opportunities lying in the shadows, waiting to be claimed, moulded, dressed and prepared for economic action and all related to that old phrase, “something good always comes out of something bad”.
The islands of The Caribbean are no strangers to the call for sustainability. Caricom, CDB, the OECS and supportive regional agencies have on many occasions proposed and developed projects to generate local industry, based on our own raw materials, adding value by processing and branding, for domestic or export consumption. All to enhance and develop self sufficiency within our fragile economies.
Sadly, our response has been slow to indifferent as, for instance, the lure of bananas, our economic agricultural staple for many years, dominated the sensible backstop of diversification.
This time, as we move all too slowly to the end of the battle, our quarantine and isolation, untimely deaths and infection, will move us to new ways of dealing with uncomfortable living and commerce. Hopefully with more need for protection and proaction.
As this new and unexpected lifecycle begins, delivery and distance, online access to decision making and payment, as well as paperless documentation and online conferencing will all blend together to become the new normal.
Existing traditional business houses will redeploy their staff to working from home with core weekly or monthly meetings.
Architecturally, future retail will encompass crisis management, social distancing, enhanced sanitation and clearly defined standards for customers and employees.
If you can imagine your skill or business transposed to a virtual environment, completely or in part, it will be because you can feasibly retool and regroup to encompass new and more relevant technology.
Advertising platforms and social interaction are now in abundance online. Interestingly, these are, if managed correctly, far more cost effective than traditional media advertising. They are also less cumbersome and can change and adapt quickly to evolving markets.
From our perspective, we welcome these changes for our existing and potential clients.
New technology and new approaches bring streamlining, more accessible costs, better communication tools and coverage. They still firmly service the fundamentals of connecting and servicing customers and attaining sales goals, regardless of the media mix involved.
It is truly time to make other choices.