The virus isn’t going to disappear as you recite Jack Robinson. At least, not immediately! The World Health Organization (WHO) has sounded the alarm. The global health watchdog believes we may have to learn how to live with the imperceptible enemy in our midst. This shocking revelation means that the dislocations that arrived in the wake of the pandemic may become the new normal, at least, in a long while. Regardless, the good news is that one can seamlessly recover from the Covid-19. Catching the virus does not also mean one will have it for life. We have seen that bulk of the people who caught the Covid-19 are recovering and eliminating the virus from their bodies and living their normal lives.
However, the new normal is that large gatherings are giving way and virtual engagements won’t just be a stop-gap measure. To thrive and not just survive in a world with Covid-19 is to think of the battle not as a 100-meter dash. It’s a marathon that will hang around for some time. Without a shift in mind-set, people will struggle through the new era and continuously play catch up. There is no nay-saying that jobs have been lost and a lot of them won’t be coming back. Some skills have become obsolete while some services will continue to decline as patronage drops.
The global market has plummeted. The hospitality industry has taken more than a sensational knockout. Most hotels are completely shut. Travel agencies and businesses are strapped as people don’t travel the way they used to. The banking sector is not spared as deposits are no longer pressing in to sustain their overhead. Drinking pubs and clubs are experiencing a continuous downturn. Schools that will survive are those that are able to embrace a melded and blended mode of learning. The public service may not come out completely unscathed and I see no reason why they won’t shed excess weight and carry on slim and fitting baggage.
The virtual world has become the new reality. Internet skills have become a must have and having a cyber-space has become as important as having a physical office. The jobs that will be available can only be filled by applicants that are tech savvy. Web designing, digital marketing, graphic designing, social media ads, video editing, programming, apps development, copy-writing etc, are now the essential and sought after accompaniment of a demanded resume. Why would anybody go out to add to his existing liabilities by hiring anyone without any of these complementary skills that are now in hot demand.
Money will be less available and poverty will rise rather than fall. Large offices will no longer do the magic the way a simple laptop and archetypal phone will do. A new definition of office space is emerging and will include working from the confines of our kitchens and bedrooms. People are gradually realizing that what they travel miles and kilometres to do can be done from the comfort of their homes. What’s more, we can now have most services we previously went out for rendered and offered to us in our eccentric cuisines.
By and large, spending less is a smart way to staying afloat and learning a new skill is conditio sine qua non to staying relevant and meaningfully. The future belongs to those who can recreate their world and market it virtually. Because status quo is changing and rapidly too, the only option will be a cohesive response that can take advantage of the cumulative challenge to move forward. That will require a subscription of strategy process that recognizes the nature and uniqueness of the challenge while offering a cocktail of absolute recipe for dealing with it.
As the world emerges from the ruins of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the predominant lesson is that there is the dire need to comprehensively overhaul our general corporate and business value system, including our core policies and approach to work. There must be deliberate change to how we work in the office and manage our businesses, how we relate and interact in the social sphere and how we view deliverable and life generally.
By default and at the risk of repetition, technology has become a vital necessity that must be leveraged upon for continued relevance and survival of entities. The outset of the Covid-19 and the dislocation of routine activities has impacted adversely on the world and has exposed us to huge lifelong undesirable experiences. The adverse consequence of this pandemic is that some organizations and businesses will lose relevance while some services will experience reduced patronage. Some skills will no longer be in hot demand while some new skills and knowledge will gain prominence.
It becomes imperative in the light of today’s reality to make routine work attitude and operations technology compliant. Consequently, new knowledge, skills and technology that are relevant in meeting today’s needs should be imbibed. There will be need to equip more people with relevant skills for self-reliance given that more jobs and businesses will be threatened by the impending global economic downturn.
In the post Covid-19 world, the dynamics will favour those who imbibe the lessons of the pandemic and are willing to adapt their businesses to the new world order through targeted strategy processes. There are skills and technology processes that will enhance business operations and ensure sustainable operations even in time of uncertainty. Beyond any conspiracy theory for or against Covid-19, the basic constant is that to remain relevant, especially for purposes of professional engagements, one must be nurtured in certain key methodologies, regardless the field of study or job content.
No doubt, Planning and Strategy is a bit of a luxury in a crisis but it takes absolute strategy to be out of crisis and get back to normal. Also, no-one at the moment really knows when ‘normal’ will start again. What we can be sure about ‘normal’ after Covid-19 though is that it won’t be the same as normal before it. What has become clear is that those who were able to learn how to work strategically and remotely too had the future people are thronging into. No matter the divide anyone, organizations or businesses are today, the most important thing is that everything can be fixed going forward. It is all about the strategy to be deployed as a counter to contend with the features of the pandemic.
Chukwudi Oracle Nwala, Esq; legal icon and legislative expert, writes in from Abuja.