There are early signs of a new epidemic. This time it’s an epidemic of optimism. The Bank of England is suggesting that 2021 will witness the largest GDP growth since 1946, while UK manufacturers’ belief in economic growth is at its highest level in 50 years. On a personal level, after a year of Zoom- and desk-focused projects, I’m finally back to having face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects.

In short, it feels like things are getting back to normal, to how things were before we’d ever heard of a coronavirus.

The problem is, that feeling is wrong. Things aren’t getting back to normal. Instead, ‘things’ have changed and there is just as big as need for you and your organization to adapt and change this year as there was when the pandemic first struck.

It’s true that, as the saying goes, a rising tide floats all boats, and it’s likely that your business will get some benefit from the more buoyant economic conditions over the next 12 months. But the fundamental shifts at all levels of society are creating new demands for your organization.

For many consumers, working and shopping habits have changed forever. Business leaders, meanwhile, have become obsessed with ensuring that their supply chains are more resilient and bringing production closer to home. And at a government level, the shock of the pandemic has both raised the importance of a strong and balanced national manufacturing base, but has also coincided with more ambitious carbon-reduction policies.

So, enjoy the optimism and benefits of the 2021 bounce as much as you can. But, as you do, make sure that your business strategy and organization is ready to meet the new challenges of the post-pandemic world.

Off The Record: If You’re Out There by John Legend

If you hear this message, wherever you stand

I’m calling every woman, calling every man

We’re the generation, we can’t afford to wait

The future started yesterday, and we’re already too late

© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.