Back to the Future – new beginnings?

The good news this week, COVID cases seemed to start to moderate here. The new restrictions have been in place for a while now and it looks like we will hear more about next steps this week… so fingers crossed for year-end.

Observations for the week.

  • The video calls have continued to be as popular as ever. There was a bit of a debate this week on how it is changing the dynamics of things. Undoubtedly many are missing face to face meetings, however, some are also finding video calls, with more frequent contact, can actually help build stronger business relationships… this development will be interesting.
  • Also a gap is widening on the attitude to the future. Some are clearly really starting to embrace the situation… rather than living in expectation we will go back to the way it was before… new restrictions, they just carry on… with minimal impact… feels a positive move for now.
  • Workwise, more boxes also returned from the office to home. The ‘home office’ is starting more and more to have a permanent feel about it… I mean I know we have been like this for a while but definitely starting to feel like it is normalising now.

Have a good week everyone… @chris_w_tweet

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(Good News)2 on vaccine development

There has been plenty of good news the last few weeks regarding progress with COVID vaccine development. Early signs are promising, with big pharma massively starting to scale production and countries readying for delivery of vaccines to their population.

All in all the speed of vaccine development vs normal timeframes has been amazing. In an interesting article on the radio, it was explained this was driven by not only by the nearly unlimited funding nor the cut regulatory approval times, but importantly by the vast pool of people happy to be part of testing programmes… Even in pharma, it seems like this pandemic episode will have re-written benchmarks for delivery timeframes.

… New technology and ways of thinking seems to have a habit of developing in times of great challenge, change and upheaval… it also appears to be no different this time around too, as with these new vaccines new mRNA technology/research has been deployed. This development offers hope not just for COVID but also for other ailments, including types of cancer. It is a potentially very exciting development indeed.

Of course, we are not quite there yet, and it could be 2022 before we see public mass vaccination programmes… and even then the virus could mutate… but it is a good start, good news and some needed cheer.

Economically, the pace of new dramatic headlines seems to have slowed somewhat. More on homeworking, online shopping, the exodus from cities are still there, together of course with the financial stress for many, which continues.

However, more subtle fundamental changes are also starting.

Bill Gates, who spends his time (and money) thinking and investing into the future (equally with Melinda Gates I should add), caught the headlines with his view on business travel… only 50% of business travel (and only 70% of office life) will return.

We may indeed be living in the new normal today and adapting to this new way of working now may be critical for the future. Those that can adapt will strengthen, whilst those expecting a return to the world of 2019 less so… it is time to move on, be flexible and adapt it feels.

Key stories for this week

Have a good weekend everyone… @chris_w_tweet

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Lockdown roadworks…!

Another lockdown week, another weekend, and that cooped up inside feeling is starting to return again. This lockdown period seems harder than the first somehow… even though the restrictions are less… there is something psychological going on it feels… the observations for this week

  • Last week I wrote about the increased traffic, which is still the same… busy… but this week there were roadworks too… many major routes seem to be now under construction… it is not a great mix for the morning run!
  • Workwise, it also feels like meetings are now also getting shorter… mine are typically down to 30min… maybe video calls are more efficient or are we just trying to fit more in?… not quite sure what changed…
  • The pandemic of course is still there too, and we should also spare a thought again for health care workers, teachers, and those in direct customer-facing roles. In a second wave it can be hard, but we should be grateful for their support, just like we were in the first. I know we all trying to just get on with life, but a big thank you is in order again too.

Have a great week everyone… @chris_w_tweet

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