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Opinion: Innovation & Creativity Will be the New Normal

Frank Neary, managing director of Mindmap, writes about the new normal and the important role creativity and innovation will play in helping clients.

They say it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit. Well, what are the new business habits that have been  formed in the past 66 days? That should be the next question.

I have spoken to a number of CEOs  for multinationals over the last few weeks and the big change has been that remote working.. is working.

This has transformed business in ways that we could not have predicted. Services are being transacted in virtual offices enabled by technology. Going back to a physical office will be  very challenging, to have to manage social distancing , working space , food preparation and kitchens, restrooms and of course social space. We had moved towards open plan offices, designed to bring people closer together these are now not fit for purpose. Of relevance too is the financial cost of running the physical offices this is a balance sheet issue which is very relevant today.

One multinational I spoke to  recruited 100 staff in the last few weeks, trained and set them into play, all without any face to face interaction. The model  is working so well that that particular company doesn’t anticipate reverting to physical office based working, in the same way as before.

Marketing and selling has changed significantly. Working in the pharma space we have helped developed new ways for companies to meet their customers and develop relationships. The skills and materials required for video meetings are different, however once integrated they  are working.

For employees, there is the saving of hours of commuting , reduced travel costs , flexibility.   However, the challenge is how to manage the employees new work/ life balance. And from the company’s point of view how to maintain or improve productivity. Many of these issues are being solved as the weeks turn into months. As we hit a speed bump we review, amend, and move on.

I am very optimistic, as I see our creative business returning to a “new normal” in an industry which has been transformed . Creativity I think needs to  lead,  to show the way  and  develop the creative new solutions to cope with a new reality that will be with us for many months if not years ahead.

Delaying activity until things revert to the way they were,  doesn’t seem to be an option as markets evolve into our shared new reality the innovators will prosper more then ever.