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David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org <![if !vml]><![endif]>Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD
Three Years… – March 2023
<![if !vml]><![endif]>Damn. Three years… It was three years ago this month of March when the pandemic became real for me. I was in Austin attending a company meeting and couldn’t find a replacement for the little bottle of Purell hand sanitizer I had been carrying for years. Little did I know then that my stay at an ‘unusual’ Lone Star Court property (and I’m being generous) would be my last business trip for a loooong while. It’s been a hell of a three year journey to now – when we can finally say that the pandemic is waning (not over, but getting there.) So much of our lives has permanently changed that I didn’t want the anniversary to pass without documenting some of the lasting remnants and learnings of our collective experiences.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The Butterfly Effect: We’ve clearly learned that the air-travel system of today can collapse if a butterfly flaps its wings wrong. It’s more fragile than we had ever imagined.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Fool Me Once…: I warned organizations in this blog way back in 2014 that a pandemic like this would be coming and everyone needed to be prepared for remote working. Few listened. (As Don McLean sung, “Perhaps they’ll listen now…”)
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The Struggle Is Real: Even though countless research studies have proven beyond any doubt that remote employees are more productive and hybrid working is the right model for the future, there are still old-school bosses that want their employees to return to an office as if we’ve learned nothing. I detailed some of the reasons for that here.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Culture, Shmulture: One of the reasons the above old-school bosses give for wanting people back in offices is to “preserve and grow company culture” yet they don’t hesitate to destroy that culture whenever they feel like it as I wrote here.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Divided We Fall: We could have stopped the pandemic rapidly in the earliest stages if everyone wore masks and isolated. Half the population refused. We could have stopped the pandemic and new variants if everyone got vaccinated. Half the population refused. Do you see the pattern here? The only way to end the significant division IMHO is to make illegal and end propaganda cable networks posing as news (but I can imagine half the population would object. As many have been quoted, ‘It is easier to fool people than have them admit they’ve been fooled regardless of any overwhelming amount of evidence.’)
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Work Is What We Do Not Where We Go: I’ve said this for many years but it’s never been more obvious than now. Even the stodgiest of firms has now begun to adopt their version of Hybrid Working. Offices will change or wither. Organizations will evolve or die.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>We’re Not Going Back: Those that are waiting for a ‘return to normal’ shouldn’t hold their breath. This IS our normal now and going forward. Hybrid work, mask wearing, far more expensive fares, no regular hotel room cleaning, etc. The biggest change IMHO is the understanding that loyalty (in many cases) was always a myth. Airlines and merchants were never actually loyal to you. Employers even less so. Save your feelings and actions of loyalty for your family. Everything else is (and should be) transactional. Do what is mutually beneficial, avoid doing what isn’t.
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I can’t write a ‘three years have passed’ blog without acknowledging the millions that died unnecessarily. We should mourn our losses and never forget what happens when half the people couldn’t care less about ‘peeing in the community pool.’ We’re all in this together, whether we want to be or not.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.
Copyright 2023 David Danto
As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree. Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me. Thanks!