“The world is very much like Bluetooth right now. Things just randomly stop working, disconnect, fail, decouple, crash, & generally make no sense!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
From broken supply chains to airports in turmoil, to price inflation and skills shortages – the world is nothing like it was in 2019.
And so my favorite theory right now is that the globe is mimicking Bluetooth right about now, that awful technology which we rely upon so much but which has so much unreliability built into it that it manages to infuriate us on a regular basis. At least, that’s the thought that came to my mind the other day.
You probably have a belief that we will soon get ‘back to normal.’ We won’t! – Jim Carroll, July 2020
Yet, it’s not like we didn’t know this was going to happen!
I recently went and took a look at two posts I wrote in July 2020, two weeks apart, that seems remarkably prescient right about now. The posts were based on two videos I filmed in my then rather primitive virtual broadcast studio of the time – you can find one of the clips at the end. But they are worth revisiting, because not only did they predict some of the turmoil we find ourselves with right now, they remind us of the excuses that we are making that helped to get us here in the first place. Looking back at what I was speaking and writing about at that time, I was really starting to get a sense that the world would not be going back to normal.
The first post was Revisiting the Innovation Killers in the Era of Covid-19: A Reality Check For Your New Future. Here’s what I wrote:
Think about it – how many people do you see actively deferring decisions on innovation? Or not pursuing obvious trends, or not moving forward with initiatives, because they are using excuses like this?
- we’ll wait until this ends! (It won’t any time soon)
- we don’t think we will be affected! (You are)
- we’re not quite certain what we should be doing! (You should)
- we’re not prepared to invest right now (if not now, when?)
- we’re just going to take some small steps
- we’re not really prepared to commit what with all the uncertainty (but that’s your new reality)
- the science isn’t real! (It is)
- it will soon be over! (It won’t be)
- it’s impacting other people but not me! (It is)
- it’s way overblown! (It isn’t)
- I’ll just wait till things get back to normal! (It won’t)
- we can just come up with a plan so we can easily manage our way through it! (You can’t)
- we’ll inspire ourselves through some type of #strong hashtag! (Nice, but that won’t fix things)
- we don’t think it will take a lot of work once we get back to normal! (It will)
- we think it will be pretty easy to manage things once we get back to normal! (It won’t be)
- things are really not that bad! (They are)
- we haven’t really been impacted and the stock market is strong! (The market is not the economy or your industry)
- we have a young workforce so our employees won’t be affected that much! (They are)
- it hasn’t changed our industry too much! (It has)
- the emotional toll is not that big (It is – the mental health implications are astounding)
- our supply chain/business model/business structure isn’t impacted (it has been)
- our product or service hasn’t really been impacted (yes it has)
- we’ll set a date in stone for a return to normal – and things will become normal (the date you pick will continue to change)
Ask yourself which of these attitudes you have succumbed to – and challenge yourself, “what happens if I am deadly wrong in my assumptions?”
Here’s what I wrote in the second post, Aggressive Indecision 2020: How Organizations Are Failing By Freezing FAST! (Hint: Accept Your New Covid-19 Reality)
- have a belief that we will soon get ‘back to normal.’ We won’t.
- are letting your ‘desire’ get in front of your ‘reality’: you think the virus will soon be quashed or that a vaccine is imminent. It won’t be, and there won’t be.
- think that accepting our new reality seems like an admission of defeat. It’s not. It’s a foundation for action.
- have a feeling of invincibility that drives inaction – that your business model, the structure of other attributes will survive. Without drastic action, it probably won’t.
- not understanding that everything has changed. It has. In massive ways.
- not *accepting* that everything has changed. It has, forever.
- an inability to comprehend what has actually changed. You need better insight – the changes occurring are profound
- too much optimism for the speed of return to ‘normal.‘ It’s going to be a long, tortuous path out of this ‘thing’
- fear of confronting the truth. Your future will be pretty ugly unless you start working at a furious pace RIGHT now to reinvent it
- feeling helpless in the face of overwhelming change. Move faster along the 7 stages of economic grief!
- ‘confirmation bias’ clouds your judgment. You prefer to believe those who tell you this will soon be over and not to those who will tell you the truth
- you’ve fallen prey to the cult of delusion, the conspiracy of idiocy. Enough said. This might even make your future a lost cause.
There is nothing normal about these times.
It’s fascinating to look back now and read these in the context of the turmoil we find ourselves in today. The world is Bluetooth – and just like the technology, it’s going to take a long time to fix.
Here are the two videos. This was early in my virtual exploration, so the cameras are rather fuzzy, but the content matters!