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What’s next?

By Dr. Burt Smith May 2nd, 2020

Everybody wants to know “what’s next” in terms of the post-pandemic 2020 and beyond. I wish I knew.

I’ll add that I don’t have a lot of faith in anybody who claims they do know, to be quite candid and just a little snarky.

The optimist in me likes to think we’ll get back to some semblance of normal and that with all the pent up demand that exists due to the worldwide shutdown, the economy will come roaring back, possibly stronger than ever thanks to the lessons we can learn from what has happened.  Some of my optimism is rooted in the experiences I had as a business practitioner during the financial crisis following the nasty market crash of 2008. There was a lot of talk then that we wouldn’t come back from the brink, yet the market went on to triple in value over the next decade.

On the other hand, the consequences of this global crisis may turn out to be more far-reaching than any of us like to think about. Every industry, and the majority of practices in every industry, will be affected in some way and may be changed permanently. And some of those changes may be devastating for some organizations. Notice I used the word “organizations” and not just “businesses.” This affects everybody who serves a stakeholder.

I do not claim to have the answer, but I will share one answer that has been proven to offer success in good times and bad:

Stay close to your customer.

Listen intently and constantly to what your customer’s wants, hopes, needs, fears, dreams, etc. are. Pay specific attention to the responses of your best customers. Then strive to build your strategies – maybe even your entire business model going forward – around that information. You both need each other now more than ever.

It’s not the answer, but it’s an answer you can ultimately take to the bank.

So I think the winners in recession are the people who produce new technology that does things better, which people really want.” – James Dyson

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