Adapting to the New Normal

Hand holding brain digital network with light bulb inside
Photo: © Pop Nukoonrat / 123RF Stock Photo

In a fast-paced world, the present pandemic has further accelerated change in practically all aspects of our lives.As the world continues to adapt and evolve to the ‘new normal’, new opportunities have emerged while others have faded into oblivion having lost their relevance.

The new equilibrium has nudged us to think differently to solve existing challenges and prepare ourselves for new ones. This problem-solving approach needs to emerge from a shift in mindsets that supports ‘out of the box’ thinking.

The new equilibrium has nudged us to think differently to solve existing challenges and prepare ourselves for new ones. This problem-solving approach needs to emerge from a shift in mindsets that supports ‘out of the box’ thinking.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” said Albert Einstein to drive home the need to think differently. We just dabble in critical-thinking skills and problem-solving skills in our present ecosystem of learning when we undertake projects and enroll into short-term programmes outside our classrooms. We, however, need to dive deep further and should be immersed in it on a constant basis to imbibe it in the very fabric of ‘how we think’ and how we perceive and address challenges.

By 2030, most of the present senior school students would have entered the workforce. The opportunities that exist now were unheard of not just a decade ago, but even at the start of 2020! Avenues like app development, cloud computing, big data analysis and sustainability programmes didn’t even exist until a few years back. It is predicted that many jobs that will dominate by 2030 don’t even exist yet! Then how are we supposed to prepare for something that doesn’t even exist now?

The recent McKinsey Global Survey shows that the pandemic has brought in years of change in a matter of months at the organizational and industry level. For example, digitally-enabled products and portfolios in organizations have accelerated by a whooping seven years! The organizations that successfully navigated through the new economic and business environment brought in by the pandemic are those that quickly adopted new strategies and practices while speeding up their own experimentation and innovation. Interestingly, most of these changes are predicted to continue even beyond the pandemic.

In such a dynamic and evolving world the ‘how’ we learn becomes as important as ‘what’ we learn aside from ‘why’ we learn.

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Dr Swati Subodh
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Dr Swati Subodh

Dr Swati Subodh is a scientist, public health professional, entrepreneur, writer and a performing artist. With a varied spectrum of experiences, she believes in #bridgingsilos through her work and initiatives. She has written articles for reputed publishing houses, and has spoken at many prestigious platforms like TEDx, BioAsia and at the U.N. headquarters.