Listen, I get it. I’m fatigued, you’re fatigued, we’re all fatigued…over COVID-19, but it’s still important to talk about it. In fact, it’s something we will be talking about and writing about for years whether we like it or not, as it was the worst pandemic this generation has ever seen and there’s a lot we can learn from it.
Think about where we were this time last year: sheltering in place, businesses were closed, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and household cleaning supplies were depleted for months in stores and online, Zoom calls were building in popularity due to working from home, people were holding “birthday parades” outside their homes in lieu of parties and we watched the death toll numbers climb higher and higher each day with virtually no end in sight.
What a difference a year makes. COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to learn so much about how resilient we are as individuals, business owners and a society.
Here’s where we stand now: we have thousands of people getting vaccinated by the day, in-door restaurants have reopened, major venues such as Disneyland, Broadway and concert halls are set to reopen, small businesses can start getting back on their feet and contributing to the economy’s recovery, the travel industry is starting to boom once again as people feel safer to fly and stay in hotels and some corporations have reopened their facilities, allowing their employees to go back to the office.
As we remain in “yellow light” mode – essentially proceeding with caution, we all still need to do our part: get fully vaccinated and ease into social gathering. Doing so will ensure we will remain on the right track to recovery and begin living in our “new normal.”
The new normal
It’s a phrase we’ve been seeing everywhere. As we strive to get back to the life we knew prior to the year 2020, many things won’t be the same, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If anything, COVID may have changed the way certain businesses manage their operations for the better. For example, staying in your car until you receive a text message from your doctor’s office that it’s safe to come into the lobby in an effort to avoid overcrowding and spreading germs.
The Department of Motor Vehicles has been practicing the same methods. I don’t hate it; in fact, I think it’s brilliant and I hope this is a permanent change that will mitigate flu season and other illnesses throughout the year by permanently implementing these new business practices.
This is a time to look back and reflect upon COVID-19’s effects on our key industries and what they need to do to prepare for a new normal. It’s important to determine what has changed as the world went digital along with its changing needs, changing audiences, changing customer service processes, and changing online experiences such as work and school.
This is our chance to put a positive spin on what has happened to the world and how we can leverage that information to change our mindsets, improve operations and ensure the continued safety of customers upon reopening.
Fostering a culture of experimentation
We will be releasing a series of blogs that will set the scene for how businesses are getting prepared to open back up. We will also be focusing on why experimentation is important – especially in the current macroeconomic climate, and how these strategies can help businesses improve their operations going forward. We will be highlighting key industries such as:
- Retail and online shopping
- Video conferencing companies
- Financial technologies (FinTech)
- COVID’s effect on holiday shopping
As the world opens up again, we will zero in on how businesses will adapt and where they will continue to invest as they foster a culture of experimentation so their employees are encouraged to stay curious, work in a truly data-driven manner and ensure they are delivering the best experiences for their customers in a post-COVID world.
By leveraging experimentation, many companies will have a better idea of where to invest their money, whether if it’s still for digital or brick-and-mortar needs upon reopening, and how they can continue to invest in those winning strategies to perpetuate their business, satisfy their customers’ needs and protect their well-being.
This is our chance to determine where businesses found ways to not only survive but thrive during this pandemic and how they plan to stay successful.
What have we learned and who were the hidden winners of the pandemic?
Find out in our COVID blog series in which we highlight key learnings – and ways businesses in the key industries listed above – have been able to cope with rapid change and high levels of uncertainty.