Covid has changed the practice of managing hugely and permanently. The new “hybrid workers” – partially- or fully-remote, and often time-flexible – cannot be managed effectively using past practices. Most simply don’t work any longer. What does work is still being developed or evolved. Managers appear to be well behind in this transition. We look here at some useful ideas for the new world.
Is inflation real? Yup. Is this good or bad? Depends on who you are. Good if your income is growing faster than prices, or you can keep ahead of the game by borrowing. Bad if your income growth lags price growth and you can’t borrow enough to make up the difference. Is that all I need to know about inflation? Nope.
COVID-19 sent all but “essential” workers home for over a year in many cases. These were mostly “office-based workers”. There is now a major push by more than a few employers to bring nearly all of their workforce back to the office. But this workforce has changed dramatically and probably permanently. Back to the office is just not going to work for many.
Shortages of everything is being reported as a catastrophe: we are doomed. But what if this is just a symptom of massive changes underway that are now driven by the COVID black swan? Changes that were inevitable in our way-too-brittle world. If so, this shifts our management context to one of challenge and opportunity. We look here at what to do about the global supply chain mess.
Shortages of everything is being reported as a catastrophe. We may well be doomed. But what if this is just a symptom of massive changes underway that are driven by the COVID black swan? Changes that were inevitable in our way-too-brittle world. If so, this shifts our management context to one of emerging challenge and opportunity, not one dealing in hindsight with catastrophe.
Almost every day now we read about something or other being “unavailable” or “in short supply”. Supply chains are crashing. Many kinds of workers are no longer looking for work despite millions of open jobs. COVID has largely vanished so we are told so shortages must be due to “something else”. What “something”? How do we manage in this terrible mess? Time to worry?
Learning the hard way means making mistakes, often painful ones. The “hard way” means pain. Taking great care never to make mistakes is a mistake since it avoids much learning. The trick here is to make only non-fatal mistakes. So much of real learning comes from mistakes. The hard way works and is so important.
Risk management does not reliably make your business or organization resilient. It aims at reducing the likelihood of and damage from foreseeable and probable risks. Resilience is very different. Resilience assumes that damaging impacts, foreseen and unforeseeable, will occur regardless of our risk minimization efforts. It aims at ensuring that the organization can survive almost anything that comes along, regardless of likelihood, and that it will ultimately succeed and prosper. Very different management objectives.
COVID certainly has messed up the world but it will eventually go away. Just another black swan experience. But what if there is something much bigger, fundamental, and permanently world-changing? Like the crisis-driven end of an age? If so, where are we in this time of crisis? Strauss and Howe see this as the final crisis phase or Fourth Turning of a roughly 80-year secular cycle. Could they be right?
Among the very few blessings of our recent COVID experience was the huge shift to remote work and its flexible scheduling and location. Suddenly, many of us had almost full control over our work and used this opportunity to create an unheard-of work-life balance. Now, many businesses are calling for “back-to-the-office” for nearly all. Goodbye wonderful work-life balance. Or is it really gone?