In the business world, a paradigm shift is often a change in the perception of how things should be done, made, or thought about. Reacting well to key paradigm shifts have a lot to do with the long-term success of a business. To ensure having quality time for facing paradigm shifts, a business owner must systemize their business, in order to operate WITH or WITHOUT being on premise. In other words, eliminate business frustrations that keep an owner bogged down in the mundane daily operations.
You’ll hear those twin-terms – pre- and post-pandemic – more and more, perhaps for the rest of your life. Like December 7, 1941, the date that lives in infamy as it marked a global generation, the events of 2020 will bisect memories and lives for decades. In thinking of that pre/post bisect, another book comes to mind: “Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future” by my friend Joel Barker, one of the great futurists of our time. Joel didn’t invent the paradigm concept, but his landmark book and companion film reestablished it in our modern consciousness.
Barker says: “A paradigm is a set of rules – written or unwritten – that establishes boundaries within which we learn how to be successful.” The marketplace is pregnant with paradigms – almost infinite in number and most of them handy. Some paradigms are fundamental and as old as human interaction, like the handshake, or the business paradigm: buy low, sell high, keep track. And some were born this morning – we’ll get to those in a minute.
So, how does it work to have so many paradigms? It doesn’t always – and there’s the rub. Few paradigms last forever, even our most beloved ones, like what we sell and how we sell it. When the life of a paradigm is spent, it almost never dissolves, erodes or atrophies. It shifts. And when a paradigm shifts, Barker says, “… everything goes back to zero.” Zero is another word for irrelevant.
As we pass through this mid-pandemic wormhole into whatever is next, that bisect will shift paradigms all around us. “Back to zero” is the New Regular reality every business owner should overlay on whatever they did and how they did it, pre-pandemic. And then ask the team, “How is what we know and love shifting? Will the product/process/practice we used last February still be relevant post-pandemic – as in tomorrow, or next February?”
Tiny Shifts – there will be many
Midwifery care and virtual healthcare paradigms will shift because of changes in customer behavior and new expectations with social distancing. Labor support and visitor restrictions are minor compared to paradigm shift of what is essential during care and what isn’t. Expect rude shifts in many of the nostalgic ways you love serving customers and the way they once loved being served. Early in the New Regular, tiny paradigms will shift daily, so staying relevant means staying close to customers. Watch, ask, listen, and confirm what looks different. Tiny paradigm shifts require tiny adjustments – make them fast and often. When tiny paradigms are shifting, perfect is not your friend.