Saturday 5 December 2020

Apart from Covid & Brexit, What Should We Be Thinking About In 2021?


Things are in a better place than we might have hoped for-there's a vaccine and it might be the game-changer we've been hoping for. This, combined with more effective "Test, Track and Trace," has the potential to bring us to a much improved situation. But there's a "but," (isn't there always?). What have we learned and how can we apply it in a world that will have changed?

"Bright Light! Bright Light!!" (Gizmo-Gremlins 1984)

It feels that the Covid Pandemic has shone a very bright, focused beam on some residual flaws in the way we "do" things. Flawed processes and assumptions have been exposed at a time when public trust in traditional institutions has declined. That said, whatever assumptions we may hold, there is an understandable "By their deeds they shall be judged!" element to the manner in which faith and trust of all kinds is experienced. That's important because it informs future decision making.

Taken form KPMG's November UK Economic Outlook the above extract assumes that unemployment will be around 7.8.% by May 2021 with a full year effect of around 7.2%, the impact is likely to be felt disproportionately in the 16-24 year old group. As I write these numbers, I have to remind myself that what they are is one thing, what they represent is another. They represent for some, economic destruction and a collapse of hope and this can and has, been the seedbed for immense anger and challenge to the status quo.

Q: Why are scientists that develop vaccinations sad? 

A: Because all their work is in vein (Boom-Tish!!)

One of the areas I had in mind with the "Bright Light" comment concerns "Collaboration." It is here it would appear, that the global scientific community has put the political community to shame. You don't get this far, this quickly without collaboration on a grand and focused scale. 
So, what do we learn from this?

To face the challenges ahead, we must collaborate, locally, regionally and nationally and this will mean working to a set of core values that embrace what can be done rather than reinforce previously held and hugely unhelpful, local, regional, national and assumptions and beliefs. There will, as discussed in the KPMG article, be a shift away from traditional work patterns and therefore, the service/hospitality industries that support these long-established processes: they will become something else and we need to be ready.

We should learn from what works and ask if there are ways of developing those collaborations that "could do better," developing learning conversations as we do so. There is an opportunity for significant realignment of Education,Training and Wealth Creation, one that provides pathways that might exist in some areas and require development in others and as they do so, give voices and opportunities to local communities and the potential to connect and collaborate with others.

Communication styles, content and media are an essential consideration in reaching out to groups where the impacts of change are most keenly felt and as I consider this, I reflect on the sentiments of Eric Berne, a Canadian Psychiatrist and author of "The Games People Play", a lead figure in the development of Transaction Analysis. He said that we should

"Write (communicate) in a manner that was accessible to the average eight year old-or take another look"
 (My take on his words!) can this sound advice inform approaches to communication and community engagement as we travel forward on an as yet, uncertain road?

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