Ever since we first heard about the COVID-19 pandemic, the world as we know it has changed beyond all recognition.

Using the term “VUCA” to refer to today’s business world seems fairly accurate at the moment. This acronym (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex + Ambiguous) was first used by the American military in the early 1990s to describe the world during the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Recently, against the background of tragic human stories, businesses have quickly shifted their entire workforce to remote working, have pivoted to a digital offering or new services + have furloughed employees. Sadly, some businesses have already folded as they’re unable to continue trading in the current climate.

But we’ve also seen hope in this VUCA world. The planet has started to recover, and kindness abounds; from the postcards sent to help self-isolating neighbours, to new support communities coming together, to quarter of a million people putting themselves forward to be an NHS Volunteer Responder. No matter what part we have all played in rallying against the pandemic, as a result of it and its impact, we have taken stock + considered our future, + the legacy we’d like to leave behind.

It’s clear that many people will emerge from this crisis fundamentally altered + certain that our future can’t resemble our past.

What does this mean for business? It seems the world of work won’t just go back to the way it was before. It can’t. Some might say it mustn’t.

What does that mean for us, as leaders? I think it means that we must shape + respond to this global crisis. We should be encouraged to see it as an opportunity to step back, reflect + review our culture – the “way we do things” – + consider our place + relevance in this changed world, as people, leaders + organisations.

But where do you start when trying to anticipate the future + how best to shape yourself as a business within it?

In my new series of 5 mini blogs, I’ll ask the questions you need to answer to thrive after COVID-19 + beyond:

• Getting to the point: Why is purpose paramount?
• First things first: How important is culture in a post-COVID world?
• Building a 21st Century workforce: What do your employees want?
• Masks off: Why is authenticity so powerful?
• Building a 21st Century workforce: What does an agile culture look like?