60 years ago, some people were reluctant to embrace software as a way of working because it was seen as buggy, hard to use, and often way too expensive. They opted for whiteboards and good old fashioned pen and paper; and when those weren’t readily available, they just stuck a finger up to see which way the wind was blowing and went with their gut. Well, fortunately for us all, software has gotten a lot better and cheaper to acquire since then.
20 years ago, some people were reluctant to embrace the internet as a channel for doing work and conducting business because it was seen as unsecured, unreliable, and untrustworthy. The opted for tried and true face-to-face events, meetings, and the occasional phone call. Well, the internet has gotten a lot better since then. In fact, since about 2009, there’s a mega trend in business software moving online as well, led by Salesforce, Intuit, and some other now-titans of industry.
All of the forces of the universe are pushing you to do more of your job online. It’s faster, more scalable, more connected, lower cost, more accurate, more automated, has perfect memory, and its more convenient. Trillion-dollar companies have been built on 100% online sales. Some of these companies also have an enormous chunks of their workforce working from home – with the more forward-thinking few already at 100%. They have had near-zero disruption with the recent pandemic. In fact, many of them are breaking the bank right now.
Recent events have woken us all up (again) to the reality that doing business “in-person” is not as reliable or disruption-proof as we’d like to believe. When people talk about the “new normal”, they hearken to a time when we could all handle our business and personal matters in-person – like the good old days (where things were already far from normal). This time, normal was thrown out of whack by COVID-19, last time it was 9/11 and terrorism, and the time before that it was something else.
The fact is, no one knows what the new normal will be like – but we know this for a fact; 100% of your work with other humans will be done either on the computer or in-person. There are only 2 channels on this TV set. If you are in a job where the vast majority of your work or business is conducted in-person (ie sales, manufacturing, support, healthcare, management, consulting, coaching, continuous improvement, etc), your economic risk profile just went way up. Many of you have either already lost your job or living in fear that the pink-slip is just a click away. You would be the wiser to start figuring out how to use some of the vast array of tools (many of them free or free trial) available to you to move as much of your work or business online as possible. USE THIS DOWNTIME TO PREPARE BY BUILDING UP YOUR DIGITAL TOOLBOX!
Perhaps you’ll settle on a 30/70 “online” to “in-person” mix of work in the “new normal”. Perhaps it will be more like 50/50 or 70/30; maybe a 100/0 is in the cards for you. Either way, you get lucky when your preparation meets the right opportunity. Your economic risk profile goes down by creating balance in the channels you have available to do and deliver your work. We know this for sure: your customers or employers, right now, want you to be productive and continue to deliver excellent work, but from home if at all possible. Don’t sit back and wait to see what happens before you decide what to do – you already know what to do. Jump on Google and start searching for the tools you need to get back to work, in the now normal.