And so it came to pass…

My New Year blog for 2020 talked about wanting to spend less time at my desk and being part of the original AZ trial (now at 2Bn+ vaccinations in 170 countries, an extraordinary achievement). But I’m still here and now have the new variant of Covid – albeit very mildly.

There was an interesting article in last week’s Economist (https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/12/18/the-new-normal-is-already-here-get-used-to-it) which explored the idea that the concept of “new normal” conveyed the fact that some of the changes of the past two years are irreversible, both positive and negative, including “today’s predictable unpredictability.”

From my perspective I have a similarly split feeling.

Access to people is so much easier when we all adopt a digital first perspective, for example earlier this month I chaired a session on new production technology which included participants in Tokyo, London and San Francisco. But a trip to Belfast reminded me of why I liked travelling, the stimulation in new environments and unexpected ideas.

Project management can be incredibly efficient, with all of the waste stripped out, but trying to creatively co-design over zoom is impossible (and the incidental time is where we exchange value and build collaboration).

So the Economist’s description of “predictable unpredictability” does feel like a crossed line. The resilience and adaptability which has been forced by the pandemic has been to an extent “baked in”, we now plan with an expectation (whether conscious or subconscious) that events may change rapidly and require an agile response – which feels like a positive shift in the art of the possible. Businesses in the Creative Scale Up / Creative Sector Growth Programme I’ve been part of managing demonstrate that, with extraordinary growth delivered through in some cases very radical business transformation.

2022 will see delivery of a new Virtual Production strategy for DIT and the first investments under the MyWorld Bristol programme, both in different ways exemplars of similarly radical transformation in the form of exciting imminent shifts in creative technologies within production, distribution and personal experience (don’t mention the metaverse..).  

But New Year will pass with me in self isolation, hoping for more days of escape in 2022 like the one below – a sparkling Lake Como.

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