Uncertainty is the new normal....and it's fine!
It’s very weird not to be able to make plans of any kind or to even know when we can start thinking about making plans. We don’t know when this is going to end, how things will seem when it has ended and whether the end will really be the end or the start of another round. The Prime Minister and health chiefs appear on our screens every day with updates; the public speculate, complain, praise and harangue on social media and it feels like no one is in charge. The advice we are given, the restrictions that are brought in are all based on speculation and calculation but on what feels like few hard facts.
It’s interesting how hard we find it to manage when the rules aren’t clear. I’m sure plenty of us think that we’re mavericks, ready to follow our own path and to an extent that is true, but we are doing it in the context of generally understood regimes. We break away from norms, but we are still operating around them. Now, though, all bets are off and it’s slightly scary. There is rising awareness that little “big” business will be done before September.
When it comes to things like angel investment the old adage of “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” will loom large. Many forget that angels only invest 5%-10% of their net worth, which means they will have taken a hammering on their equity and bond portfolios and will be looking very closely at the ramifications of the near nationalisation of much of the economy by HM Government, on property and other alternative assets. The global asset deflation story will run and run.
But of course this is the moment to grasp uncertainty by the neck and make it work for us. All things pass and this too will pass. When it’s over there will be huge scope to develop something new. Right now there are incalculable numbers of highly trained and talented people sitting about wondering whether they have got a job and wanting something to do; this is the time to start exploring ideas with them. We are learning about how business and work can function in extremis and discovering, in many cases, that technology can take a good deal of the strain, so let’s start looking at ways to improve our systems permanently. Maybe the idea that face to face meetings should only happen if food is on the table, will gain traction? We will get used to doing most business via video conferencing etc.
There is no question that some things can only ever be done in person and that running a skeleton business long term isn’t sustainable. Our economy will be affected by this situation for many, many years to come. People will lose jobs permanently and the likelihood of some of those jobs ever reappearing is remote. BUT new businesses will start, new ventures will thrive and now is the time to plan them. We are finding out now what we can do in extremely difficult circumstances. We are finding out what the cessation of normal life looks like and we can adapt and, I hope, make our futures better.
The Pluralists Club continues to operate and members are going to be exploring how to move their work and businesses forward over the coming weeks. A network like ours brings together so many talents and ideas and with speakers and projects coming in remotely we are confidently preparing to contribute to the economy in the post-virus world. Next week we will open up PluralistCast to you all. It is our take on how things can be done from now on. Watch out for our special email explaining everything which will be coming out shortly.