“The question for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”

Elrich Fromm

Uncertainty should force us to shift away from business as usual. Uncertainty should force us to be creative with how we approach what has been our status quo. While, when submerged in the turmoil, it can be difficult to look beyond and plan for an unknown future, we have to try.

Watching the way many have embraced the digital media over the last two weeks has been awesome. People have been stretching themselves, finding authentic ways to share insight, knowledge and creativity. However, it is important to be able to look beyond this moment.

The reality is, eventually, one day, we will tentatively step beyond our front doors and outside our homes. We will stumble into a future that truly is uncertain and start to piece together what the ‘new normal’ is. It will take us time to figure it out but it is dependent on what we do today. I am a firm believer in living in the Now but we have to look into the future, as well.

With all the things that many are doing online, the question, for me, is are they sustainable beyond the lockdown/self-sanctuary? There are some things that won’t be, and that’s alright. They are initiatives and activities that are for this moment. But, what of the initiatives that were meant to be launched into the world prior to the pandemic. If they are launched with thinking led by the current circumstance, what hope do they have in the future?

This is where true innovation comes into play. Planning that is based not just on the current situation but also on an uncertain future. I believe we need to be flexible. We need to be able to plan with an idea of what our lives will look like beyond Covid-19 but leave enough wiggle room to adapt to the shifting landscape.

There is no single answer. I certainly don’t have one. But, now that we have settled into a world of self-isolation, quarantines and lockdowns, we do need to think about what we need to do for our businesses beyond. We need to start to form some type of image of what it will look like and what we need to do today to ensure that we start to plant the seeds for that. This may change tomorrow but we will each be in a better position to deal with that change, if we are already engaging with today’s changes. And if we accept that the uncertainty is here to stay.

The status quo is no more. Uncertainty is the new normal. Let us unfold our powers.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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