Finding Certainty in a Time of Unprecedented Change

NewsApril 27, 2020

Certainty in Change

Today we’ll be exploring questions about the nature of change and the future of life and work after Covid-19. What’s our world going to be like?

Uncertainty is the probably biggest contributor to the anxiety that most people are facing today. Because we just don’t know what will happen in the future. Or do we?

The question we need to answer is this: Do you think the future is uncertain?

The way you answer that question will reveal your mindset, how you really think, how you will handle change and what you’re doing with your time right now.

Let me illustrate.

Two years ago, I was speaking at a medical conference for one of the hospitals in New York. There were 850 doctors, nurses and administrators in the auditorium. During my presentation I asked this question:

Who thinks the future is uncertain? Almost everyone raised their hands.
Who thinks the future is 100% uncertain? Again, most of the audience.
What about 50% uncertain? Not as many this time.

Finally, I asked, is there anyone here who can predict the future? People laughed, but one man in the front row raised his hand… the CEO

I think Futurist, Daniel Burrus, would agree with the CEO. Burrus says, “In an uncertain world, what can you be certain about? Many things!”

Burrus talks about the concept of Soft Trends and Hard Trends:

  • Soft trends MIGHT happen
  • Hard trends WILL happen

An example of a hard trend is the aging of Baby Boomers. And the increase of Technological Changes. These hard trends will happen- but might not.

An example of a Soft Trend in technology would be the dominance of Apple computers and iPhones. These might continue to happen.

I’m sure you see where I’m going with this: Is the impact of globalization and Covid-19 a soft trend or a hard trend?

I think, the impact of Covid-19 is a hard trend, meaning we now live in a new and different world.

I believe it’s a linear change. And when this kind of change happens you never go back to the way things were.

So if Covid-19 is a Hard Trend, how will our world be different?

Three distinctly different areas:

  • Fragility and Resilience
  • Isolation and Interconnectivity
  • Time, Speed and Exponential Change

To navigate the transitions of a Covid-19 world, here are the Top Skills Needed:

The ability to learn and use existing and new technologies- Faster
The ability to quickly access the information that other people know.
The courage to Make better Decision- Faster. That enacts a plan!
Leaders will a high emotional intelligence who can connect with people in person and virtually
Leaders who are selfless, who demonstrate their integrity and trustworthiness.
Teambuilding skills that are inclusive, especially diversity of people, opinions and ideologies

Covid-19 has shown each of that we are all connected. In fact, interconnected. Our health, safety and survival depend on the health, safety and survival of each person in the world.


Want to learn how to respond to the hard and soft trends which impact your organization? Dr. Mark DeVolder is a a top change management speaker.

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