Last year, Professor Scott Galloway described COVID-19 as “an accelerant” not a “change agent.”
As he later expanded:
“The pandemic’s most enduring impact will be as an accelerant. While it will initiate some changes and alter the direction of some trends, the pandemic’s primary effect has been to accelerate dynamics already present in society – from e-commerce to online education to remote healthcare.
“The biggest question facing the world as the pandemic recedes will be: will these accelerations stick?”
One of the results of these accelerations is that it finally forced many organizations to respond, overcoming a logjam of institutional resistance.
Some of the desire for business to go back to normal is an illusion. Customer expectations will continue to evolve. The post-pandemic world will also have its own changing dynamics that will require businesses to keep up.
A report released this week from January Digital and Foresight Research found that “50% of US consumers expect brands to retain and improve upon pandemic conveniences.”
This creates an opportunity to organizations that can continue to keep pace. Gene Cornfield, MD of Accenture Interactive, observed:
“Small and midsize businesses have a window of advantage here. While larger companies might have greater resources and reach and some have recognized the need to pivot their customer journeys, experiences, and operations for new realities, for many, forward progress will be mitigated by operational, organizational, and cultural inertia.
“So, until larger or slower players ultimately get there, opportunities abound for more nimble companies to better align with customers’ new purposes”