Highlights from June on Anticipating “The New Normal”

By Lilly Milman |  July 2, 2020

We’ve all become familiar with the phrase “the new normal,” but we’re still learning what that really means. Brick-and-mortar businesses have begun to reopen with new precautions, people are starting to step out of their homes, and the world is changing once again.  

This past month, our team has been busy finding out what this new world will look like. With the help of our strategic partner Planbox, we released our “What the Future Looks Like” report, where we interviewed futurists and surveyed corporate innovators to get an idea of what to expect in a post-COVID future. We also published our June edition of Pointers, titled “The Corporate Innovation Toolkit,” to provide teams with interactive activities to assess their innovation capabilities. 

We’ve gathered the best pieces of recent advice from our live show, report, and other online coverage to help you imagine the future and plan your next steps.

1. Start Scenario Planning for the ‘Low Touch Economy’ 

According to Board of Innovation CEO Philippe de Ridder, the “low touch economy” refers to economic and behavioral shifts caused by COVID-19. In a recent Master Class, he gave advice for how teams can prepare for change. 

“It obviously all starts from the health measures which are currently in place in almost all countries around the world to fight the current pandemic. Low touch measures to flatten the curve — that is the starting point of the feedback loop,” de Ridder says. “People change what products they buy, what needs they have, how they behave in general.” 

De Ridder speculates that the longer health measures are in place, the more likely people are to develop new habits that disrupt the economy. Watch the Master Class to learn more about how to win in the “low touch economy.” 

2. Be Prepared to Tweak Job Applications to Stand Out During a Remote Hiring Period

With uncertain economic times ahead, innovators may find themselves on the job market or be thinking about their next career move. In an episode of our web show One Quick Thing, Nada Usina shares best practices for standing out among applicants. Usina co-leads the Technology Sector for the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

“People come in with biases around what they think they are looking for,” Usina says of the hiring process. “Some of the obvious ones: They love a shiny degree. They love shiny brand names earlier in one’s career. They love to see a failure, but then success.”

To learn more, watch the replay

3. Take Advantage of the Need for Social Distance-Friendly Entertainment

Live entertainment that require large-scale gatherings have been put on pause. Instead, in-home entertainment — like live streams and video games — is more popular than ever, according to Lauren Xandra, Vice President of the National Research Group. We sat down with Xandra to learn more about how consumers’ relationship with entertainment and technology has been impacted by COVID-19. Read the full interview to learn more about lasting trends. 

At the Panasonic Hollywood Lab, innovators are working on developing in-home entertainment offerings that are more personalized and immersive than ever. “A lot of those conversations [regarding the need to develop immersive entertainment] are not new to us, but they certainly are more poignant today,” says Joseph Conover, the Panasonic North America’s National Manager of Strategic Initiatives. Read the full article to find out four ways in-home entertainment may change.  

4. Adjust Your Personal and Professional Expectations, and Find Perspective From Fellow Innovators 

Are you going to start commuting again? What about handshakes and hugs with people whom you don’t know very well? If you answered “no” to either of those questions, then you’re on the same page as the majority of our survey respondents. For our most recent research report, we asked 113 corporate professionals across various industries about what pre-COVID behaviors they will and won’t be returning to once the pandemic subsides.

Download the full report to see the rest of the data, read excerpts from our interviews, and more. 

5. Do Not Settle for Returning to ‘Business As Usual’

Winston Churchill once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Juan Enriquez — futurist, author, and venture capitalist — agrees.  

“There’s a whole sector of people who have never worked as hard in their lives. Every day, they are producing, doing, executing, making, innovating because they have to,” he says of the past few months. “Any person who says they were bored during this pandemic is not part of the innovation economy.”

Read our full interview with Enriquez to learn more about why business as usual isn’t an option for the life sciences sector, and why innovation is crucial during a crisis.