While the world eagerly awaits a cure to the perils of the pandemic, the changes COVID-19 has brought are life-changing, revolutionary and here-to-stay. The need for humans, organisations and nowadays ‘things’ to engage in a formless, portable and resilient way is imperative, unstoppable even. The legacy collaboration systems of yesteryear have entered their well-earned final resting place at the bottom of the corporate ocean, and in their place a new vision of collaboration has emerged; flowing through old barriers and floating between ‘compete’ and ‘collaborate’. With all becoming intimately networked with superior, simpler and ever-more ubiquitous technology and an abundance of social platforms, it’s time to tap into the phenomenal power of the collaborative Technology Business, even as connections and entire ecosystems seemingly changing overnight.
Developments that previously took years to be implemented are now being discussed, debated and decided upon in record time, and in innumerable virtual meeting rooms. Organisations have struck unique arrangements, building agile and robust structures that will last far longer than the lockdowns and quarantines of the time. Surges in the online space, digital connectivity and adoption of remote working solutions at a lightning pace testify how firms are balancing responsiveness to their consumers with the safety needs of their stakeholders, building resilient systems that can cope with catastrophes too.
The ‘virtue of virtual’ plays the leading role with teams all over playing the supporting parts, rising to the challenge of uncertainty. With the advent of video/audio conferencing options and tools for visualisation, employees now communicate over multiple channels, becoming accustomed to a collaborative style of working rather than in focused silos. Lean structures and empowered nimble teams accelerate decision making, making strategic decisions valuable in such a dynamic environment.
The undercurrent to this collaborative tide, is a sense of trust in the capability of the workforce. Effective delegation now stands where micromanagement once served. So, while the ends are a given, the means are entirely flexible to the employee. Leaders have realised the impact that the pandemic is having on employee wellbeing, adopting a more humane and personal approach. With this empathetic style of management, leaders are focusing on boosting employee morale and creating effective partnerships with a ‘we-are-all-in-this-together’ approach.
The prevalence of IoT complemented with 5G will enable smart cities to gain both scalability, and trust of the masses – all with a robust infrastructure. But physical distancing should never be confused with social distancing. So, while physical distancing is the ‘new norm’, societies are virtually closer than ever, not only to other people, but ‘things’ as well. We have embarked and set sail on a journey of ‘movement in reverse’; people remain at home, the enterprise is portable, and ecosystems want entities to become inside-out. While the world drowns in the waters of uncertainty, to sail onwards and reach a new dawn, we in turn should be like water – fluidly adapting to the uncertainty, all the while together.
The future lies in togetherness.