Jacopo Perfetti - June 2020
What will remain of this time?
The answer depends on how we interpret the question. Whether as a prediction or a hope. Surely something will remain. And surely all of us, both as individuals and as humanity, will come out of it changed. My hope is that we will continue to change, that we will continue to innovate, to look ahead, to find solutions, to experiment with new ways of doing things and to question what we have long taken for granted.
I hope that this period will strengthen our adaptability quotient, our natural ability to adapt to new contexts and emerge evolved.
Let's think of the world of business. "Only a crisis produces real change," said the father of the Chicago Boys and American liberalism Milton Friedman. It's a simple phrase, verging on banality. But it's a true statement. Crises bring about change. Because during a crisis change is not only possible, it's necessary. We must change. Even if we don't want to do it. Or even if we don't think we're in a position to do it.
A few months ago, on a website, I found an image with this question: "Who led the Digital Transformation in your company: A) the CEO; B) the CTO; C) the COVID-19?". And the answer ticked off was the third: Covid-19.
The advent of Covid-19 has forced many companies to rethink their business model in (also) a digital perspective. It is an evolutionary issue. History teaches us that companies that view change as an opportunity evolve and grow. Whereas those that continue to do the same things, always in the same way, are very likely to leave the market sooner or later.
It was like that before Covid-19 and it will continue to be like that after Covid-19. The big difference is that this pandemic has made everyone (and not only entrepreneurs) face the realization that change is and will always be a part of our lives.
It made us confront the understanding that things change if we make them change. Because it's true: "Everything's going to be all right." But on one condition, that it is us who make it all right.
Jacopo Perfetti - Entrepreneur, author and university lecturer.