Although we like to think that eventually we will return to a new status quo – We’ve learned so much and come so far, we can’t afford to fall back into our old workplace habits.   Now is the time to escape the trap of the new normal and begin crafting the next normal.  Companies whose leaders can harness the power of collaboration, communication and commitment will be ready for whatever comes next.

If you have 1000 unread emails in your inbox you are not alone.  Whatever advantage email had in the early years of the internet, all that efficiency and novelty is now gone.  If we can’t talk face-to- face, then even old tech like snail mail and phone calls now get more attention to anything you read in your inbox.  Fleeing from the old normal of briefings and white papers we went too far toward the casual end of the scale.  The email, which replaced the office memo, has now been replaced by an office text/chat hybrid that makes the attention problem even worse. 

In hindsight, we should have known that multiplying messages by a factor of 100 would outpace our ability to attend to, retain and make use of them.  There is now convincing evidence that the scarcest resource in the work world is attention.  

The Fix? 

Standardized communication. The military does this well. They use truncated, disciplined, plug and play formats that convey commonly used information in succinct time sensitive bursts.  Even something as simple as a 140 character limitation, ala Twitter, would help.  The businesses that take this approach will be able to out focus their competitors.  But, I don’t see this happening any time soon because no one has taken the lead in fixing this problem inside companies.  CIOs tend to focus on public and strategic communication.  Internal communications departments focus on PR and customer communication.  Who is responsible for the log jam of routine communication within the company?  In the next normal we need simplified digestible communication like that made possible by de Bono’s thinking and perception prompts.   Resources Unlimited is one of only two distributors in the US that provide master trainer expertise in all of de Bono’s Toolsets.  We show you how to change the communication culture of your organization.