Latest News

Opinion: The new norm, a reality check

By Naim Maadad
Chief Executive & Founder – Gates Hospitality

“There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications and just go for it.” Judith McNaught

As COVID-19 turns the year 2020 as the most turbulent in modern history – it has forced mankind to make some very major changes and reinvent ourselves into a new norm. Only brands with dynamic leadership and super resilient ethos will survive the wave of change.

As we all continue to fight the unknown – until such time we have a permanent medical cure in the form of a vaccine, medication or whatever it may be – the environment of uncertainty will loom large at least for the 12 to 18 months ahead.

Mankind has always been known to be a resilient force at the times of challenges in the past. There is no doubt that together we will overcome this one too.

As many brands will down shutters in the period, there will be many more new ones opening – learning from the experience and adapting to the new-norm best practices.

What would the new norm for work methods be?
In the post COVID-19 world, work methods and habits will undergo an altered reality shift. The traditional manner in which work was conducted will evolve further. Working remotely or the new norm of “Work from Home” will be the standard for those industries that can adapt to this platform. This creates a new autonomous aptitude in the workforce. Digital platforms will become the new highway!

The true mettle of leadership skills will get tested to the core in the new emerging scenario which is evolving by the day. Resilience will be the quality needed most and which will help ride the wave. Agility and adaptability are the needs of the hour.

To win over the confidence of the clients, there would need to be extreme clarity, huge transparency, unshaken sincerity and unending resolve with the uttermost belief that we will all overcome this period of uncertainty unitedly.

Being digitally savvy has suddenly become the super thrust area – those who do not adapt will perish to oblivion. What is needed is decisive leadership with a fine balance of synergy, empathy and true compassion.
Business will come back slow and with great degree of caution. Stricter regulations will have to be in place to boost the social confidence. Businesses will undergo a tectonic shift in the norm and reboot to the adapted new norm standards.

One cannot be under the assumption that we can start from where we left before the pandemic started to transform all our lives. A wider and sharpened mind would be needed to focus right on the plethora of new opportunities thrown open to us.

Rather than have a mind-freeze given the grave nature of the pandemic situation, the open and farsighted vision of the leaders can enable them to analyze the worst-case scenarios and at the same time drive optimism with an unwavering laser beam-like focus on the goals to achieve in the long run.

Dire situations demand unparalleled responses and the need at the moment is precisely to think out of the box and ensure the survival till we thrive again.

On a truly global scale, we will need to rethink hygiene implementation, sanitation methods and safety standards. It will have to move from being done in the dark hours after operations into the limelight of visible peak business and this should reflect in everything we do – if we are to win back client confidence quickly and certainly.

To conclude, the year 2020 will definitely push all of us, leaders and team members alike, to re-think, re-invent, and re-adapt to the new norm. The sooner we shift from denial-mode to reality-acceptance mode, the better we stand a chance to succeed. Make no mistake, we might even need to revisit the next version of the new norm in our journey ahead.

All these uncertainties that are ahead will need to be accepted as we move forward. There is no doubt that we need to remain a strong community of mankind as a whole which offers empathetic support to our people, our business, and each other to tide the wave in it together.

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” – Robert Schuller


Read more opinions >