A lot of chatter since we entered the COVID-19 crisis, well now that we have experienced the pandemic, at least we now know what we are dealing with, it is time to deal with the real issue; how long will it take for the global economy to Reboot itself?
This economic crisis and the one we are about to enter into ie.. the global reception that is, will be different than the last few down economic cycles with distinct characteristics. I intend to outline in this paper some critical points for any business owner to consider before pushing the reboot button. The context is that as a society and economic system we will be forced to deal with the emotional, psychological, and practical means of restraining the economy. We know that it will be very different and distinct than what common wisdom and logic tell us.
Emotional – When humanity was hit with a curveball such as the COVID-19 it forced people to be self-isolated and it developed a high level of emotional toll. Being isolated from social life and social interactions is going against the very core of human DNA, we are social beings and to some degree almost “Tribal” in nature. It also challenges our very intimate cell, the family cell. I do not remember the last time that I have spent almost two months with my close family alone. No matter how large your house is, there is no place to hide. It magnified for most people their own fears, anxieties, inadequacies, and uncertainties that for a large portion of people led to a deeper form of an emotional negative effect that they will be forced to deal with for the upcoming years and for some, the rest of life itself.
Psychological – As humans, we need to rationalize and develop our own interpretation in order to create our comfort zone, we can’t function any other way. In a vacuum when there is no certainty, the human mind needs to make up reality in order to survive and locate ourselves inside some form of certainty even if it is not real. People have tendencies in times of crisis to take a step back and use the common wisdom that says “better safe than sorry”. It leads to a lack of trust in the system, in other people, in the health system, in government, and that their employer has their best interest in mind, that they will be able to have their job back (50% of them will probably not) and more, their confidence level in themselves and others diminish and it will have to build again over time, and it takes time. I have asked over 50 close friends in the past week; “If the restaurant and bars will be open again will you go back?” over 64% say probably not in the near future anyhow, and we are not talking about travel or social gathering. And it is not all about the health issue, what about the economic impact on top of it all?
Practical – Important to remember that almost 60% of the world population is complacent amiable types, it is all about comfort, feeling it, and being cozy. Until we know exactly where, when, and what will be the “Next Normal” we will not take action, inaction will be the status quo. Until most of us know exactly how the world will operate we will be on a holding pattern for a while. So reopening the economy, and if your business expects people to behave like “Normal” again it is a recipe for certain failure.
Keep doing the same thing over and over again is a sign of insanity. Outside our own emotional, psychological, and practical domains in which we have the illusion of control, our lives are depending on other external factors that are outside of most people’s control – the “X” factor that magnified all the others 10 fold. The “X” factors such as the Global Impact, Local and Federal Government involvement, the Banking & Financial Institutions, and the new Commerce Evolution, the way we connect and consume products and services in the “next Normal”.
I am very optimistic in nature, a man of many possibilities, I see opportunities in any situation. So, people, it is not all bad news! Humans are adaptable as we all have been in many crises in the course of human history. We always come out stronger and more resolved. This is a defining moment in human history, it is part of the evolution of our species, you need to embrace it or risk becoming an irrelevant factor in shaping the future of it. This paper is not designed to put the fear of God in people, but before you push the restart button, you should have a clear relationship to reality, exactly the way that it is and exactly the way that it is not.