Discussion: Covid 19 as an External Environmental Force


Strategy includes scanning, monitoring and assessing forces in the external environment. Sounds good, so textbook. But then a phenomenon such as the coronavirus pandemic comes along, a force that was largely unpredicted and unpredictable*, which shakes societies and economies across the planet.

This is an exercise in creative AND analytic thinking. What societal, organizational. and individual trends/reactions that emerged in the covid era will become long-term changes? How will these new norms affect the way we live and the way we work? What are the strategic implications of these changes for organizations?

Don’t overly pontificate, make it real through specifics. Some starting points: lingering effects of the politicization of covid affecting norms of behavior and democracy; the entertainment industry; how/where work is done (really, when the dust settles, there will be return to offices for most, though likely not 5 days a week), how we socialize; how/where we live; how we dress; etc.

* While there was some real sense based on patterns that the world was due for a massive pandemic outbreak, meaning predictable, there was no sense that it would occur why, when and how it did, meaning unpredictable. This dual quality of predictablity/unpredictability is a hallmark of complexity theory, based on chaos theory.

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