After the aftermath of the First and Second World War, as well as the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the citizens of the World of that time, faced a new wave of changes in an environment, which ever since Homo Sapiens-Sapiens appeared on Earth, it has been characterized by uncertainty.
It all started with a couple of mild messages that between the lines predicted future changes, one of a socio-political type, represented by the assassination of John F Kennedy on November 22, 1963, ending the era of prosperity in the United States of America. called by many the "New Camelot" (the fantastic capital of the kingdom of Arthur and a symbol of the Arthurian world of peace and prosperity).
And the other change, of a technological nature, occurred on July 20, 1969 with the arrival of man on the Moon.
These two events marked the life path that the human race, represented largely by the USA and the former Soviet Union (USSR), would follow to a destination of no return, taking us 20 years after the arrival of man on the moon, on 9 November 1989, date of the fall of the Berlin Wall, thus freeing up the passage in Berlin between the sectors controlled by the Democratic Republic of Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany. This was a momentous event in world history that marked the end of the Iron Curtain.
Four months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR) began, which meant the disintegration of the federal political structures and the central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, culminating in the independence of the fifteen Republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991.
It would be ten years after the dissolution of the USSR began, for humanity to face the first watershed of the 21st century: The attacks of September 11, 2001, constituted by a series of four suicide terrorist acts committed on the morning of Tuesday, September 11. September 2001 in the United States by the Al Qaeda jihadist network that, by hijacking commercial aircraft to hit various targets, caused the death of 2,996 people, including nineteen terrorists, the disappearance of twenty-four victims, and more than six thousand injured.
The timeline continued its march taking us at the beginning of the 21st century to the Age of Knowledge characterized by Intensive Information and Communication also known as the Digital Age.
Approximately eight years after the beginning of the 21st century and the human race carrying the tragedy of the Twin Towers and a digital environment that we did not know where it could lead us, a series of eventualities arrives with the new century:
1. the global economic crisis that began in 2008, which continues to this day.
2. The economic rise of China.
3. Instability in the Arab world.
4. Protests, conflicts and even military interventions for the global control of energy resources in the countries of the Middle East, highlighting the Libyan war of 2011 and the Syrian civil war.
5. The appearance of new megalomaniacs and mythomaniacs controlling the destiny of nations.
6. And at the beginning of the 2020s, the irruption of a coronavirus pandemic that spread throughout the world caused a strong socioeconomic impact.
It seems that the paradox of the Human Race is Construction-Destruction-Construction, it is as if we were invited since we appeared on the face of the Earth to Survival and now we know, that those who best adapt survive not those who are stronger or smarter. In fact, this is demonstrated by Nature and the Universe itself in its Evolutionary - Involutive processes.
And how can we survive and adapt to this new challenge called Covid-19?
This challenge carries Political, Economic, Sociocultural, Technological, Ecological and Legal implications, it is as if the entire control panel of Planet Earth were lit with the word THREATS and few OPPORTUNITIES.
ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES?
Homo sapiens-sapiens since it appeared around 100,000 years ago has demonstrated a series of abilities that have allowed it to be challenged by Nature. Survive!
Therefore, the Old sapiens-sapiens have as a very important task, to teach the Young sapiens-sapiens something, which has been learned very well from that distant November 22, 1963 and July 20, 1960, which marked a socio-political watershed. (Kennedy assassination) and economic-technological (the arrival of man on the moon) and that undoubtedly were the spearhead of all the events that I have described and that culminate (at least today) with Covid - 19
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS OF THE OLD TO THE YOUNG SAPIENS - SAPIENS?
Guidelines for the pandemic and physical distancing are forcing companies to change routines and practices in the workplace, as well as interactions with customers. Many companies will have to temporarily shut down production lines, cope with supply chain disruptions and respond to revenue shortages.
The immediacy of the new situation requires keeping a cool head and making the most of challenging circumstances.
To be able to adapt, we will have to go one step further towards survival in order to identify opportunities and not sink into threats.
Since 1963 we have seen that the environment has been changing and it has become increasingly complex and uncertain, and it will be increasingly so, however, as a human race we have known how to adapt.
At this time the organizational adaptation implies a change of focus, to go from the focus of “Command and Control” to one of “Collaboration and Commitment”.
The era of micromanagement must have died many years ago, but due to Covid-19 and the remote work that many of us have to do now, companies that continue with this process will be overwhelmed by circumstances.
I have had to listen in the corridors of the companies that I advise, as well as in the universities where I teach phrases like "Now that I have experienced this freedom, I do not want to go back", it seems that the new normal is to have freedom, confidence and autonomy.
For companies that haven't done it before, now is the time to embrace agile management practices, upgrade digital infrastructure, and put robust risk management measures in place so that the next crisis or disruption doesn't catch them off guard.
In the last 100 years, the world has become increasingly complex. Now, more than ever, organizations must understand this complexity and respond to it quickly and appropriately.
Where previously there were only a few economic centers in the so-called "West" competing for labor, consumers, and top talent, new centers the size of former Western global players are now added almost daily in China and elsewhere.
As a consultant, I have seen that in this age there are four types of companies, those reluctant to abandon the old methods of product development, others that are trying to break hierarchies and old organizational charts, there are some that have realized that digitization offers more opportunities than risks if you really get involved. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the rest have not tried any of the aforementioned paths, they continue with inertia and will continue like this until their death. The point is the human factor that lives in an unmotivated existential work vacuum.
A recent Gallup poll showed that, in the United States:
Only 34% of employees are motivated and engaged.
53% are not engaged.
13% are even actively offline.
All this despite huge bonuses, incentives and other employee evaluations, which appear to have no demonstrable positive effects.
Employees are tired of the pressure, of the endless and often unproductive meetings, the floods of emails and PowerPoint presentations, most executives wonder: What is this? Was this my dream?
The answer to this situation is something that has been forgotten. People First!
Kent Blanchard already said it more than 20 years ago through his book "The One Minute Manager": "People who feel good about themselves produce great results."
Unfortunately, fear does not make people more productive. On the contrary: fear makes us rigid and risk averse. In fact, there is nothing worse in the workplace than fear.
Placed in fearful situations, people adopt rational responses: they do what they are told and, if they are employees, most will strictly follow their job description, attitudes and behavior. This can lead to an incredible loss of agility, potential for innovation and efficiency for a company.
Employees want to be recognized. Not (just) with money, as we know by now that financial compensation does not create lasting or intrinsic motivation. Employees should be viewed not only as professionals but also as human beings: as a father, mother, hiker, travel enthusiast, etc.
It is time to adapt structures and processes to improve the knowledge of people: employees, customers and also all other stakeholders, such as suppliers, associations or social groups. Address your changing needs! If you live human-centered on a daily basis, putting people first will automatically make this part of your company's corporate culture.