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2020 Trends are the New Normal

When I wrote PIVOT - 20 Trends For 2020 That Will Change Your Life Forever in early 2019, I certainly did not have a global pandemic in mind. When you are doing any type of forecasting, you consider awful events that could shape our lives (wars, hurricanes, market crashes etc.), but I decided to not pursue that particular line of thinking. Mostly, I researched business, education, technology and cultural patterns and then chose 20 trends that I thought were most likely to come to fruition.

Something interesting and unexpected is happening due to COVID-19. Some of the trends I discuss in the book are not only coming into play quickly, but are accelerating because of the global and economic impact this pandemic is having. Not to mention, the psychological impact it has on our society as a whole.

For example, the first five chapters in PIVOT are titled;

Trend #1 - We Aren't Smart Enough to Understand How Smart Computers Will Be

Trend #2 - Health is the New Wealth

Trend #3 - Self-Directed Education

Trend #4 - Monday Morning, Inc.

Trend #5 - Now You See It, Now You Don't - The New Job Market

Chapter one covers the impact super-computing will have on our world and how AI will find answers to complex problems more quickly than humans ever could. That exact scenario is playing out right now. Scientists are pooling super computer capacity to run calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics and molecular modeling to conduct virtual experiments like screening compounds that could render the virus unable to infect host cells.

Obviously, chapters two and three, that cover common sense health and distance learning respectively, are currently at the forefront of daily lives. We are all being reminded that our overall health is our greatest gift and we need to be do a better job of taking care of ourselves.

And if your house is like mine at the moment, high school and college classes are being conducted in the dining room! Schools and students and parents are being reminded that knowledge is free in today's world. How it is delivered is becoming more variable by the minute. Education institutions are going to be challenged, more than ever, to show real value. It is going to be very interesting to see how it plays out.

Additionally, chapters four and five discuss how people can start a business over the weekend and how job markets are going to cycle in and out more quickly than we've ever experienced. Millions of people are now experiencing these difficulties and opportunities in real-time.

While my plan was to review 2020 trends in December, starting next week, I will review one trend per week from the book as well as other trends that are aggressively taking hold. I believe we will be experiencing a new normal faster than any of us thought possible.

A preview of just some of the new trends I will be analyzing are:

  • The home will now be a permanent extension of the office

  • Studio quality ZoomRooms will replace the traveling salesperson

  • Small business tech will need to be world-class or businesses won't survive

  • Professional project management will be at the forefront of distance collaboration

  • New industries will be rapidly approved in order to generate tax revenue

  • State and local governments will be more important and more highly scrutinized by residents

  • Disaster recovery and business continuity planning will make or break CEOs

  • CX will be the single most important business focus moving forward

  • High schools will start to adopt schedules that mirror college

  • Businesses will collaborate and share resources to reduce overhead

  • The health & wellness industries will explode

  • Tele-med services are here to stay

  • The structure of small businesses will shift to having more contractors and fewer employees

  • GenXers and Millenials will not be satisfied going back to the old normal

We knew 2020 was going to reshape the world forever. We just didn't know it would happen before summer. Stay safe and never give up. Make choices so you have choices.

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