Attica Labs

Welcome to the new normal

Publicado 2 months ago


There’s a meme going around that I think really captures what’s going on for most companies.

It basically asks the question: Who is leading your company’s digital transformation? 4 options. The CEO, the CTO or the COVID-19. It’s funny because it’s sadly true.


The C level no one wanted Digital transformation has been a buzz word for years, and businesses have had different levels of success and commitment to the concept. For many, it’s all about one killer app that makes them cool again. For too many is an uncomfortable rule to follow, kind of like eat your greens or exercise regularly. Only for some, it has meant a complete shift in the way they do everything. Like in any good catastrophe movie, we thought we had more time. But now the black swan is here and there’s no way to tell when or how is going to leave us. We had had a couple of weeks of living in this new normal, so you probably have figured out the financials and logistics on how to weather the storm for (let’s hope) 3 months. As a new month -and quarter- begins, it’s time to really commit to the process of transforming your business to thrive again in this new logic.

The digital basics We come from design and technology, so we are a little bit biased and we tend to think that everything is better with technology and design. In this case, though, it’s never been more true. By now you probably have established your “digital basics”, running your meetings on Zoom and all. But the digital basics for this new scenario, go way beyond giving everyone on your team a laptop, a VPN, and a Zoom account. It’s about going through all your core processes, one by one, and figuring out how you are going to make them work (that means make them efficient, safe, and effective), while your customers and team are all stuck at home. If you can’t turn everything into digital, then that means creating a hybrid model that works without friction and adapts to any possible government regulation, while keeping both your customers and team safe.

Taking care of people means embracing human-robot collaboration There’s this false dichotomy between taking care of our health or taking care of the economy. The truth is, there’s no one without the other. What we need to do is to re-imagine our economy so it adapts to the extra attention we need to place on our collective health. And that means one thing: Robots. For quite sometimes robots have been described as a threat to the common man. Now is the time for robots to be humankind’s new best friend (sorry dogs, we had a good run!). Right now, robots should be our eyes, ears, arms, and legs. They should be out there doing the work we cannot do, while we supervise them. And while they are out there taking care of the old business, we can put our team to imagine the new business (you know, all those cool R&D projects your team never had time to do)

Service is king With your customers on lockdown, you need to redesign and focus on your services. They won’t go to your restaurant. They won’t shop at your store. They won’t stay at your hotel. They won’t go to your gym. They won’t party at your club. But they definitely still need and yearn for your service. And I’m not exaggerating when I say they yearn for it. A few days ago, I was talking to a friend living on one of the virus epicenters, and she said something that broke my heart. She was talking about how terrible she was feeling about being locked at home when she said “It’s almost like I’m waiting for death to come. I rather just get it and be done with it”. Right now, lots of people are feeling just like that. Having days of despair is almost inevitable. And in that context, everything you have to offer — from soulful food to a Zumba routine or the hope of staying in a luxury hotel and spa one day- is going to be valued like never before. Your customers are going to yearn for your products and services, they might just not be able to pay for them or use them in the traditional sense right now. So, it’s time to get creative. It’s time to get into social media and spread positive vibes. It’s time to help your customers create a community so they can lean on each other and their common interest -your business!-. It’s time to redesign your delivery service: from the way the catalog is presented, to how customers order and pay, to the packaging, to the final delivery and the after service.

Be real Don’t be a cheeky, sleazy, corny marketing dude. Don’t place your product as the solution to bridge the gap between social groups (I’m talking to you Pepsi). Don’t act all high and caring on social media while you are doing a huge layoff to save margins. There’s such a temptation for brands to lean into the we show our corporate values trend. Be real with yourself, is your company truly living their corporate values and mission? If not, this is the time for a change. As connection and commitment become more important, and customers won’t put up with your so-called social responsibility anymore, if you know you’re not living your values, this is the time for a change. If you are empty and don’t embrace your responsibility as a value creator, you are going to be left behind.

Work from a war economy mindset, not death road My mom absolutely loves war movies, so I grew up watching them. And what all those movies taught me is that there’s a type of resourcefulness that comes into play when you are living through a war. If you get your warrior mindset, if you get creative with working with what you have in front of you and, most importantly, if you find some element of joy and purpose in this chaos, you are going to be just fine. Avoid the death road mentality. Don’t just pass your days reading every news and following up on the sick and death count. Turn off the TV, get on your business pants, and find whatever gives you joy and purpose. Nothing is ever going to be the same, it shouldn’t and it can’t. So get going in redesigning your business and enjoying the opportunities this new normal is going to bring; you know, that digital transformation you have always dreamt about.