Inventing our way out of the pandemic

man in a street alley, with electrical charges coming from hands, inventing something

Here’s another in our continuing series of ‘reasons for business owners to be cheerful’, based around a seminar session delivered to The FD Centre by respected UK behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg.

Necessity. It’s the Mother of Invention, as we know. When the going gets tough, we all know how that phrase ends. But it is an undeniable fact that while innovation in general can happen at more or less any time, it’s when our backs are against the wall that we see these innovations actually put to valuable use.

So we emerge from challenging times armed with new skills and new tools with which to feed business success. For example, most of us are by now all too familiar with the concept and practice of video conference calling. We’re aware of the value of a dressed background, a well-lit subject, an adequate microphone and above all a reliable broadband connection – even if we can’t always attain them. It’s a skill many of us didn’t recognise or require 18 months ago.

The pandemic inevitably means that office working and commuting won’t dominate the working landscape as it once did. In a survey conducted after the first lockdown, 78% of employers said productivity had either stayed unchanged or increased, after home working was encouraged[1].

On a macro scale, the smart investment money is pouring into quantum computing technology, which will deliver transformational processing power and efficiency to functions such as back-office administration and operational support. It’ll mean white collar redundancies, but it’ll also mean leaner, more efficient businesses. Businesses that, since the Brexit deal was signed, will (bar the inevitable teething issues) continue to trade with Europe.

So, despite plenty of apparent evidence to the contrary, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. More to the point, there’s a great deal to prepare for. Good luck and keep those glasses half full. And who knows, we might soon be raising them in a pub…


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