Key Changes as We Emerge from Lock-Down?


Mickey Mikitani, CEO, Rakuten, Inc., shared some thought-provoking insights in a recent article published on LinkedIn.

“As many of us around the world begin to emerge from the initial stages of pandemic lock-down, it’s clear that we’ll need new ways to think about business in the months and even years ahead,” he wrote.

Mikitani went on to identify four key changes we can expect in the “new normal.”

  1. Consumers will expect even more choices, which will bring about changes in the ways we buy and sell products. Outside-the-box thinking will be a must!
  2. Team management and goal setting will need to adapt for a hybrid of offline and online work. Mandatory work from home rules will ease for many of us, but we should not expect a simple return to our old office ways. Companies will need to create new home/office work styles so that economic activity can continue but individuals can remain healthy and care for their families. Managers will have to adjust to the reality of keeping people motivated and engaged across multiple diverse environments. Look for expanded and less formal use of video conferencing and new technologies that foster remote teamwork. We may also need to put greater emphasis on transparent goals, both quantitative and qualitative.
  3. Sports activities and travel will involve social distancing. Travel will probably more often be a trip to somewhere close by, and we can expect a surge in leisure with a social distance element. Golf, for example, is a sport that allows players to keep some social distance. But sports stadiums full of spectators are still a little further out.
  4. Be ready to be agile and move at speed! We will need to embrace change in all aspects of business and implement it quickly, so it’s important to be ready to be agile. We will need to learn from each other to identify the most important guidelines for keeping our workers and our customers safe. For example, office design may change to allow more space between employees; we may opt for more open windows, automated inside doors and perhaps even voice-operated elevators.

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