COVID-19 changed the reality of every individual unexpectedly. The impact of lockdown and fear of unknowing have been encountered by individuals, communities, economies, nations, and continents. In a very short period of time, managers had to make several choices: choices about who should continue at work or who should go home; how and when staff should be relocated to the virtual realm; and what the priorities are and how best to convey those priorities to workers.
Although the pandemic has undeniably created many obstacles, it has also been a force for change and innovation, providing individuals and organizations around the world the ability to unleash their imagination and experiment with new ways of thinking, learning, working and playing. Everyone wanted to innovate before the pandemic, but now everyone needs to innovate. While in different organizations and sectors, creativity, innovation, and experimentation have been extraordinarily strong, the pandemic has also shed light on what can be improved. We have found that we can turn these challenges into innovation opportunities.
Right now, the greatest problem confronting individuals and companies is not confusion, but ambiguity – a state in which the future is unclear, the past is of no use, and you just do not even recognize what you don’t know, so you learn as you go. To navigate the uncertainty, we have to start learning. Many of us didn’t expect at the beginning of the year that schools would take place virtually and that we would shop online for almost anything or think about holidays in a whole new way. We see exponential changes, and since the only constant step forward is transition, we have to adjust to these drastic shifts. There is a great appetite for creativity now and everybody wants to reimagine what a better future would look like.
The guiding principles of creativity are curiosity and imagination. It’s the practice of continually asking why things are the way they are, looking at them from multiple points of view, and questioning how different they could be. The pandemic has intensified both necessity and urgency to reconsider how individuals do things, and work is no longer confined to a physical venue. There is confusion everywhere. The business environment focuses on the individual and their interests and makes the power of technology. Formulating and expressing a vision is now more important than ever, the aim that binds the team to future work. Use the influence of habits to transform values into practice and carry the ideal community to reality. Humans have known innately that for generations, small, concrete actions performed routinely can hold value and meaning. Leaders must define values, bring them to life in new ways, construct a community ready for the future, and prepare themselves and the organization for a new normal.