Avoid learning too many lessons from these ‘unprecedented times’

Matt Jukes – Digital by Default

When things get back to normal (whatever that might mean), will everything have changed, or not very much at all?

This post makes the simple and powerful point that it is rash to assume that changes made under pressure in the particular circumstances of a crisis will survive once those immediate pressures have lessened. The much-touted “new normal” may well turn out to be surprising like the old one. So it’s a good idea to read this against the accidentally parallel piece by Matt Ballantine.

Is there any way of reconciling these points of view, beyond the trite observation that opinions differ?None that is certain, of course, it is genuinely too early to tell. But that doesn’t mean that it’s too early to think about what the answer might be. And in reflecting on that, it’s worth starting with Charlie Stross’s adage for thinking about the future:

The near-future is comprised of three parts: 90% of it is just like the present, 9% is new but foreseeable developments and innovations, and 1% is utterly bizarre and unexpected.

Are all offices, are some offices, is your office in the 90%, the 9% – or the 1%?

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