We are not “going back” to how things were pre-pandemic. Instead, we will be reinventing ourselves and retooling many of the things we did before. This applies to how we work, how we interact, where we go and what we do.
These insights come from Rishad Tobaccowala, acclaimed author of “The Great Re-invention” and former chief growth officer at Publicis. I was honored to kick off this season of Conversation Nation with him to discuss where he sees the world heading now, and what’s next for the digital marketing industry and the future of work. He shared his views on what he calls “The Great Re-invention,” and his predictions about where we’re headed as a society. It made for a fascinating chat.
According to Rishad, the future will involve an “unbundled workplace,” where people will create a mixed schedule of visiting the “museum” (another term Rishad coined to describe work headquarters as we used to know it) and gather together in co-working spaces while continuing to get the job done at home. Schedules will vary, technology will assist and the typical 9-to-5 will become a thing of the distant past.
Consider my own company, Holler. It became obvious rather quickly to me that the pandemic would drastically change the way organizations operate forever. At Holler, we used to be a five-day-a-week, in-office company, but, in March of 2020 that all changed in a blink. Like everyone else, we were forced to drop everything, bring our laptops home and work remotely from there.
Early on, I was impressed with how well my entire team adapted to the sudden change. Since then, we’ve experienced even more company growth, with an explosion of brand partnerships as well as an expansion of our team. Holler’s People Team and I still continue to discuss how we will restructure our work environment going forward.
And the workplace isn’t the only thing that has changed indefinitely. At Holler, we quickly saw an immediate change in user behavior at the onset of the pandemic, with people sending messages and expressive content more than ever before. With that knowledge, we strategically shifted business priorities, ensuring that we could provide the services people were craving when the only way they could connect was digitally.
Rishad describes this obvious societal shift as the “new strange,” which has emerged as a result of the significant social, financial, emotional and health crisis of the past 18 months. Because of what we all went through, Rishad notes that there will not be a “new normal.” People are much different than they were before, impacted directly by events experienced around the world.
And so, we are entering the era of the new strange. This pivotal time in history, much like the post-Great Recession era and others, is helping to identify the necessity for new innovations. I am confident that many new strategies, services, and products will come to fruition and thrive as a result.
Some key takeaways from Rishad
- There will be no “restarting” post-pandemic; we will be starting again.
- The day you stop learning is the day you start dying. To be a successful leader you must continue to evolve.
- Products that work best are ones that inspire and facilitate human connections, which we all crave.
- Consumer choice when it comes to data privacy is an important advancement, even if it means some business models will become obsolete.
There are a lot more insights where those came from. If you’re still curious about how the world is evolving in all facets, check out Rishad’s newsletter articles on the topic, “The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past.”