As lockdowns ease, businesses are eagerly looking forward into the New Reality: what will the world look like post-COVID-19?
Now, I’m not suggesting the many predictions out there are wrong – to the contrary, I highly recommend some – but in most cases, these trends aren’t new, they are just no longer nascent. COVID-19 is simply accelerating business in the socio-political direction it was already facing.
How and when will it happen?
When I talk about the New Reality, I mean business as usual. Not usual in the sense that it won’t be different, but containment measures have either been fully lifted, or we will be living with those remaining for several years.
There are a few versions of this New Reality, and how we get there will be critical to defining the timeframes and parameters of this new world:
Now this may seem obvious, but I think a lot of government policy and business strategy is being underpinned (perhaps subconsciously?) by this assumption that we will be post pandemic in a comparatively short time period. It is critical to include a scenario in your business planning that considers a world where that does not happen.
What will it look like?
Major world economies are diverging. Those governments with overstretched fiscal and monetary policies may have less capacity to respond to social inequality. Social discontent rises – from the globalists worried about the global commons (climate, cyber, human rights etc.), to the localists concerned about their day-to-day and the resilience of their communities.
Sound familiar? It should. (Arguably) business is facing the same macro trends already coming – just in a compressed timeframe. It may look a little different depending on where you are in the world, but for the sake of brevity, even where COVID-19 no longer has a direct impact, a number of macro trends are likely to have accelerated:
Author: Sophie Heading - Global Geopolitics Lead, Global Clients and Markets at KPMG