There are many questions and few clear answers about how we will organize our activity in the second half of 2020. For most, forced by circumstances, we have a relative expectant approach for July and August. We canceled big trips, we move in our area, through Europe, if that is possible. The children are on their leave and we no longer have daily complications with adapting to the digital education system. It depends on everyone's job, but many even say that it is easier to work from home.
But all this apparent calmness is preparation for the storm of September 2020. Some benchmarks are needed:
Ø If we rethink the activities from the point of view of a pandemic that generally lasts 18 months (and we only arrived in month 7 with COVID-19), we are caught in a clutch, which on the one hand gives us an enthusiastic view of economic reopening, but on the other hand we are injected with the idea of a possible second wave of the pandemic, even with a possible new physical lockdown.
Ø Future activities will be guided by a new principle, something between virtual and physical. Schools are already preparing a program that involves both the physical presence in the educational institution and computer-assisted education. This is where adaptation comes in, as the range of variation is huge between going to school 4 days or just one day a week…
Ø Like it or not we need to interact physically with colleagues and the external environment. Of course, individual work is important, but working in a team is more than conversations in the virtual space. We cannot be fooled, it is important that the work contains both forms of interaction.
Ø Intermodality is not easy to achieve, even if the available technologies are at a high level. It is easier to organize a virtual conference than a combined event, with a virtual and physical presence of the participants. It's easier to have the whole team online or at the office than a mixed formula.
Ø Flexibility is the buzzword, but everything should be seen in the context of market reality. We want a lot and the frustrations are great, but we have to adapt to the situation. It is good to think of a strategy focused on the virtual, but with islands of physical presence when possible.
Ø Is it difficult to develop ambitious projects over the next 12 months? That depends on the approach and how we imagine the action… Of course planning conferences for hundreds of people, in which participants travel to the event is very risky, even thoughtless… But are we not losing sight of what the purpose of an event is? Why do we organize a conference? Of course the networking part is essential, but other elements are even more important. To exchange ideas, to bring new concepts, to advance in strategic thinking… In this direction we must evolve.
Ø The human mind is incredible, especially when it is forced to find new solutions. In times much more turbulent than they are now, incredible news has appeared. Innovations are not only technological, but also approach, procedures or even management.
Ø Virtual environment is no longer something marginal, it becomes a fundamental space. It is the marker by which we organize our lives now and this gives fantastic possibilities for development not only in times of crisis. In just a few months, the societal culture has changed…
Dan LUCA / Brussels