The COVID19 crisis has, with stark relief, lit up the inadequacy of the many systems which surround us, and leaders in many organisations are finally realising that it is time to address issues other than the easily calculated bottom line. The choice before us is a simple one — try to return to “the way things were” or push through to create systems which actually serve us.
The fallout from the disease is going to be broad and deep-reaching. Estimates of intermittent lockdowns till well past the end of 2021 are now getting their hearing so even here, in crisis control, it is clear that what is badly needed is imagination — a chronic lack of which has got us to where we are. Stubbornly pressing on to return to how things were before the virus, will only get us back to that same point where our lack of imagination will be sure to lead to another crisis.
Without imagination, we are not going to be able to deal successfully with this crisis, or with any other crisis that is just around the corner. Without imagination we will try to force our way back, instead of visioning a world that could, and must, come to pass. This is true as much on an individual level as on a nation-state level but this writer is concerned with business, so let’s take a look at that a little more deeply.
As much as organisations resisted it, the process of change has been forced on us, and it is happening faster than even the most ambitious futurists ever dared suggest. People who work in this field called innovation have been repeating like scratched records, for decades, that change is inevitable, change is happening all the time, change is the only constant, change is something that you need to work with, not against, that change is fuel, not a reason to be terrified, change is the defining principle of our times…
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