As work places the world over begin to come back to life and kick start the much awaited and needed meaningful life cycle for each one of us-few things would have changed already or will rapidly transform in the first 90 days, as operations begin to gather speed, this piece is about exploring on such facet and what to expect and how to manage what is likely to come your way! So let’s roll ahead…
Before we try to ponder on how things may impact us going ahead, it will make a lot good to understand , what really happened as activities were halted globally in a planned/less planned or unplanned way!Since we are dealing with only facet of the human aspect we will try to limit our observations around that one central piece and move ahead.
Humans by and large end up either ending up in the space of being employment generators or employment receivers and then we have the small segment of businesses consultants/ Individuals who are both generators and receivers unto themselves. As activities came to a halt, multiple things would have dawned at all levels! In some cases the real face of human value systems/ belief systems and Individual priorities would have far superseded the collective cause of managing a workforce or a team at a small office or vice-versa. This break in continuity, at one end would have manifested through massive layoffs/ unemployment that has been written all across the world; Ever since this unplanned halt in routine came into the picture! So what has happened here- Well one may argue that the business viability was cut short and since there were no mechanisms to cushion the offset of losses (which seem to be astronomical) there was no other way but to close the shutters and let go off people– well ok- hold this thought for a minute and we will address that later as we move ahead.
Another scenario that too has played around the world has been the overarching concept of “We are in this Together” (Even as I hate this thought -as much as I can because it simply defies any rationale sense!). In this space, people have not been impacted that bad, governments, agencies, employers and everyone that you can think of, have come ahead and collaborated to ensure that people aren’t left to the elements and are being ensured that they have a wage and a lifestyle that they can still as yet hang out to- albeit by a slender thread and as soon as things are better, the turnaround will be rapid and directed! Well this scenario for obvious reasons seems to be the best way ahead- why not- it talks about higher societal virtues , duty of care and for ensuring everyone has indeed, had a fair chance to fight this time through and move ahead. Now that we have seen both extremes of the spectrum above, let’s amylase what people are actually doing in this time that has been available to them!
People being who they are would have used this time available for themselves either to waste it and let it rot as usually they do while being busy to slog like slave for making someone else rich or they would have put it to some good use or wise use depending upon the cognitive abilities, opportunities and the immediate flexibility of the societies in which they thrive! Broadly speaking we have two sets of people around the world right now in a lock down/isolation whatever you want to call that- The firsts set is working as diligently they normally would have – striving to balance the challenges of working from wherever they are in whatever conditions they are and making a point to see how best they can add value and keep contributing in their way to ensure the business that are working with or for remains afloat as much as possible! The second set has basically turned this whole episode into a endless meaninglessness vacation which doesn’t seem to end (Unlike the hotel property- you don’t have a pre-set check out date) so these folks who believe in the maxim- “Anyways everything is going to get tougher so while we have this time, why not binge and indulge into personal indulgences and give a damn to what tomorrow ushers in!”. Finally we have a smaller segment of interesting people (irrespective whether they are the employers/employees or consultants/Individual businesses) who have used this time to realign their life priorities/ work definitions/aspirations/belief systems even as they have continued to work and contribute to what they have been doing! Knowing the facts about where the world is rocking around for now, now you may want to know how all of this will get played out as things begin to open up! Well let’s read on and remember the previous line for that has a big secret within it!
As the world comes out of the shadows, thanks to automation (AI) and some good serving of Common-Sense there will be rapid and quick realignment of businesses and individuals- Those who have been toiling through this phase will come up with fast decisions translating into large scale visible actions, whether it is reallocation of staff to other facilities of a large conglomerate, whether it is about training, re-training, or whether it is about adding anew product and rolling it off within weeks, you think of a scenarios and probably you will see an example playing out- especially where the businessmen and the employees have been working through this tough phase diligently one day at a time and have had a road map for the future irrespective of testing times and uncertainties! These in some cases will also lead to decent amounts of lay-offs but what will be unique to this phase is the fact that Quality of the people getting laid-off will have a story to tell. In all probability this will have many people from the second set who were on that un-ending vacation and didn’t care for the world- well, as the law of reciprocal karma; the world will also care less for them and that’s what will get played out in the end!
The rare collection of individuals (whether employers/employees/consultants) who would have spent this time for thorough introspection and realignment of themselves to their cause using the Unique Value that they intrinsically hold; will be the eventual trail blazers and will play a vital role in setting up the next benchmarks of quality and process development across businesses! It will be this small segment which would have analysed and seen how each other member on the team has been functioning/ not functioning where the disconnects have been and where the strengths are and what can be corrected and what must be weeded out immediately to safeguard the business! This may look like a simple task that any manager would have anyways done- but what is different here is that for the first time perhaps in a long long time- there is no space for personal biases for being played out through those intense team meetings and “one on ones” within the confines of office meeting rooms -because whether teams and individuals have worked or not would have been captured through a documented trail of emails, messages from collaborators and clients alike which are more telling and in-the- face to sum up quite a lot then any findings from over a 100 internal meetings that one would have participated in! It is also in this segment that one will also see many wise people alter the course of their calling to something different, bigger and better then what they have been currently doing and this mutual separation from the routine will enable to open up new vistas and opportunities from human thinking, innovation and commerce to be built around that space!
So what is that will create that differentiation which will make or break an opportunity for an Individual? Well the answer is UV – The Unique Value that Individuals would have been able to demonstrate as they worked through challenging times and ensured that their tasks and jobs are delivered as they had been promised and the objectives were realized in the face of extraordinary challenges! It will be these UV’s when applied by businesses, teams and Individuals alike that newer avenues with far greater depth, clarity and purpose will begin to emerge from existing businesses to provide an opportunity to build new systems and businesses!
These UV’s, will enable organisations become healthier by being leaner, directed focused and purpose driven, knowing well now that they do really have a duty of car, hence instead of boasting about an employee strength of 1000, organisations will change the narrative to a family strength of 100 which would imply an employees strength of 250! Likewise Individuals who would have found their zen by being flexible would possibly want it to stay that way so that their creative outcomes remain unique and well appreciated- this then would also work in favor of the businesses!
So, before I sign off, think well for the remaining “ME” time that you have at hand and be honest in knowing what you are doing with that- because your future will depend on the singular pivot of what you have done with this “ME’ time and what you learnt during this period!
I will leave you here for now, grab a drink and think and reflect so that you can face tomorrow all suited up, one you have realized the Unique Value that you have within and what you to offer as a giver and receiver!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece!
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