COVID 19 Predictions – How Accurate Were They?
“Our words reveal our thoughts; our manners mirror our self-esteem; our actions reflect our character; our habits predict the future.” William Arthur Ward
“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Niels Bohr
In early 2020 as the pandemic was just beginning to sweep across the United States, I recognized that we were witnessing a profound event that would dramatically alter the lifestyles and habits of large segments of our population. Through March, April, and May of 2020, I posted a series of articles in which I made predictions about how COVID 19 would cause permanent changes in certain areas.
Two years later, I thought it would be fun to see how those predictions held up! There original posts start here: https://www.projectmanagementforum.net/post/covid-19-my-predictions-part-1-the-rise-of-the-remote-worker
Here were the predictions:
1. Adoption of remote work will dramatically accelerate.
2. We will rapidly adopt remote medicine, and medical costs for day-to-day interactions will decline.
3. High school and college education will adopt a lower cost online model, with notable exceptions!
4. The fall of the globalist – borders matter. There will be an increase in nationalism.
5. People will no longer blindly follow “expert’s” advice.
6. “Science” will be rejected.
7. This one wasn’t a prediction, but I stated that leaders would reject good risk management techniques. I’m going to count it!
How did I do? I think all of these were directionally correct, but I failed to consider one very important variable. I had assumed that leaders would behave logically and would make decisions based on what was in the best interests of their employees (for a business) or their constitutions (for a politician). I was completely wrong about that! What I failed to realize was that many of these “leaders” would view this as an opportunity to advance their personal situation, not as an opportunity to do well by the people they pledged to serve.
With that caveat, many leaders did an outstanding job of using the changes forced by the pandemic as an opportunity to improve the circumstances of the people they serve. It doesn’t matter if you are in the public or private sector, as a leader you serve the people, not the other way around.
Over the next several posts I’ll look at each of these predictions and determine how accurate they were, as well as the underlying causes for the “hit or miss”. We will also look at the longer-term impacts of each.
I am exposed to a wide variety of leadership styles and management practices and always ask questions about the results of the various approaches. One broad trend I am noticing is that those organizations that are pushing to “return to normal” are rejecting the lessons of the pandemic and are literally hemorrhaging talented people. However, leaders who realize that things have changed and that employees have choices are leveraging tools like telework as a talent retention tool. More to follow.
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