A new normal is upon us, the paradigm shift that will change the World.

There is a real increasing pressure to totally reinvent my business. The past business paradigm of reaching out, providing value, and making money is still there. Still, it is how we all undergo the changes needed in a radically different set of economic circumstances.

We all are seeing the world in a very different light, in some ways a very harsh one, where the old normals are breaking down. The change in our world is even a little scary, it actually is giving me a little “angst.” I need to put some reorder into my world.

Firstly as many of you know, I have been investing my time in growing my understanding, expertise, and thinking over three “core” topics. My Innovation intent has been central to this for twenty years, but this has ‘funneled down’ into recognizing the value of ecosystems as the business design for innovation to thrive and deliver more significant value creation. In the past two-plus years, the whole Energy Transition has been my vehicle to apply my innovation learning and ecosystem thinking.

We must hold on to much of what we have, but we really will be forced to abandon so much of our accepted norm.

My search or questioning is not about abandoning what I have invested over these years, it is how can I redirect it. To shift its position to actively contribute in new ways, to adapt and adjust to the ‘new normal’ we all must seriously recognize is coming towards us.

We are all undergoing such a paradigm shift at present, not just in the present “lockdowns” or social distancing rules imposed but how these will increasingly have an impact on our health, social and economic well-being.

The world just might never be the same.

The economic fallout is going to be a very rough time in the coming weeks and months. The levels of job loss, bankruptcies, and our old reliance on what we thought were stable businesses will be highly challenged. We are certainly in a VUCA world now, so often used to describe changes, but it can now be applied in a real reality we are facing. VUCA is short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity,

Something we are all undergoing and experiencing is needing us all to re-evaluate. It is way beyond social distancing, avoiding the Corona Virus or suffering lockdown, it is emerging out from this into a new world of different realities.

A paradigm shift is hitting us.

Yet we are undergoing such a paradigm shift I went back to look at the word “paradigm” to see its meaning at this point of time.

Firstly, a paradigm shift is defined as “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.” When you change paradigms, you’re changing how you think about something.

We are being challenged in our system of beliefs, ideas, values, and habits that are a way of thinking about the real world and what it means. A possible change from one way of thinking to another.

To get to this new paradigm, we need to establish a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. We are in the “eye” of the coronavirus storm, so this is relatively difficult, but we need to become hyper-alert of how the changes will work and what they mean for each of us.

I used the visual above of the meteor hitting earth and wiping out the dinosaurs and a way of life as a warning of what cannot be allows to happen. The economy in the next few years may not have the same impact but it will impact us all!

We are possibly at a point in time, maybe the lifetime of all of us, one that alters the way we work, interact, and shift our thinking by this current event we are in. I can’t imagine we will return to our past normal; we need to search for a new one, each of us, and this new understanding becomes part of the new normal.

A paradigm shift is a significant change in the concepts and practices of how something works, it will mean different points of power, inequality, and social change. We are entering a position of significant disruption. We need leadership and guidance to help us form a view of the world, guided by the principles of objectivity, knowability, and deductive logic, not opportunism and self-interest.

Having a new understanding will eventually shape our day to day life. They control how you react to a situation, What actions you are taking for certain things and how you will solve a problem, a new way of working or living.

Accordingly, a paradigm shift is defined as “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.”

I read a view today offered by Brian Solis, “Get ready for the ‘Novel Economy’ and recovering from COVID-19 fallout.”

Brian Solis has been one of the industry’s most influential voices when it comes to humanizing disruptive technology trends and is the Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. This post was shared by Vala Afshar, the Chief Digital Evangelist for Salesforce. (@ValaAfshar)

“We are entering what I refer to as a #NovelEconomy. Novel means new and unusual, and that accurately describes these times. In a business sense, Novel represents a new strain of market conditions that are not fully identified or understood. Thus, we have no pre-existing defenses or experience against this level of astonishing disruption. We were all simultaneously thrust into a melee of panic, fear, confusion, and disorder. There’s really no widespread expertise, playbooks, or best practices to guide us. Nor, is there a preventative business vaccine to protect us from this or future disruption…yet. But truth be told, we don’t really want to respond with preexisting roadmaps or checklists. Herein lies the opportunity”

A new normal is upon us, the paradigm shift that will change the World. We need all to think about what the shift means and what opportunity or concerns this will bring us.

As more of our working becomes remote, we will increasingly need to rely on building a strong network of relationships, our need for multiple ecosystems to function and thrive in a post-corona virus world. “At a distance” sounds daunting, but it is not. I have worked remotely for nearly twenty years, and the value has progressively shifted over that time.

Brian offers three phases that make sense to me to frame my own new understanding of recovery:

1) Survive- Reaction to Crisis

2) Build, Secure, and Operationalize for Transition State

3) Thrive – Next Normal Business Continuity, Disruption Proofing, and Innovating Forward

As Brian suggests in his post, “our preexisting roadmaps are going to be inadequate.”

Hence my search for a new direction to apply what I know in a rapidly changing world where innovation, ecosystems, and networks will become important as ‘new’ ways of working.

As for the Energy transition part, well, we are still in a world that is rapidly warming, so investing in clean energy makes societal sense to curb climate change. If we don’t address this, climate warming is possibly our next global crisis that is, even more, going to be on a different ‘order of magnitude’ to this current virus crisis.

Clean energy, combined with intense climate action, is positioning the world even more dramatically into a better future. Getting our planet back into balance may not stop pandemics, floods, or disasters from happening in the near term, but we need a new order, that new normal. A new normal that often emerges out of a crisis.

He finishes with, “Our challenge and the gift before us is that we’re looking at a blank canvas for what lies ahead” I do not believe this is a blank canvas, but we must re-work the canvas while we can.

Let’s not load any canvas with old paradigms.

One of the possible consequences of the current “virus crisis” is the way we spend our resources and money to bail us all out of the economic downturn. For instance, will it be supporting fossil fuels due to intense lobbying to gain a short-term response? Or will we attempt to capitalize on the need for a long-term shift towards sustainable renewables? One that is reinforcing a permanent trend of generating new growth, new markets, new jobs, and protecting our future health and move towards that cleaner, safer future we all should seek ‘post’ this current period. Will it be to try and take us back to a consumption-driven economy where we keep throwing away precious resources that NEVER have their real cost built-in. Will we ’embrace’ the value of a circular economy at last?

My renewal needs a “higher” order to reframe my work.

We need to shift towards better foresight, fresh ways to envisage our world, reigniting our “collective imaginations.” We have been very complacent, we are at a time of heeding a ‘wake-up call,’ especially here in the Western world.

The awakening might be desire, taking to task those that have deflected investment money in our health systems, infrastructure, education, inventions, and investing in the needed global challenges we have talked about, given token investment.

How each of us makes sense of the new world before us will determine destruction or emergence. We need to channel as much as we can into new innovation to offer a new set of societal dynamics. Ones I believe would lead to higher levels of economic development, better welfare, and increase opportunities for more significant value creation for the broader society than was never offered in the old order, pre-corona virus, just talked about.

Perhaps one “higher-order” for me might be increased activism to bring about the changes that are clearly needed will become more central to my work?

One thought on “A new normal is upon us, the paradigm shift that will change the World.

  1. Thanks for sharing your views. I think we underestimate the power of ecosystems and enjoyed your remarks in this sense. We all keep thinking we should come with round solutions on our own or maybe with a partner; newsflash! The transition will only be successful if we consider different views and players since conception phase.


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