No, You Can’t Go Back To The Way Things Were – and Why You Shouldn’t Even Try


Remember when you thought,

We can’t operate our business outside of an office. And then you did.
We can’t work from home. And then you did.
We can’t keep working from home and produce results. And then you did.

Surprise? Your beliefs have changed. But it’s not always that straight forward.

Beliefs are tricky. We developed our belief system when we are young and have been adding to the system our whole lives.

These beliefs have gotten stronger because of confirmation bias (seeking out information the aligns with our beliefs), other biases, and mental shortcuts.

Think about your ‘go-to brands.’ Where did the idea that they are the ‘brands to buy’ come from? And did something like ‘because they taste better’ pop into your head when you read that?

This is a belief that has formed your story, your identity.

It’s why I only buy one kind of toothpaste. Yep, the others make me gag, but it’s only because I have a belief about what toothpaste should taste like.

What? How toothpaste should taste is a belief? Yep.

Is it possible that I can start using another toothpaste and learn to like it? Yes. It’s why a friend of mine now prefers cauliflower nachos instead of nachos made with chips.

Your employees’ beliefs and behaviours have changed, and so has the way they think about your company, how work happens, how they interact with their colleagues, and what it even means to go to work.

How did our beliefs change because of COVID? We changed our behaviour. We started doing. It wasn’t an option.

Can we go back to the way things were pre-COVID as a company? Likely not.

Hang on a second Jolene, you just said that we changed our behaviour and that changed our beliefs. Why can’t we go back to old behaviours and have our old beliefs back?

Your employees have had an experience that has shifted their beliefs and behaviours. They KNOW there is another way of doing things because they PROVED it and maybe even LIKED it.

You’ll likely experience resistance if you try to go back to business as it was before. Save yourself some pain.

I recommend moving forward and stop trying to return to the past. This doesn’t mean that all is lost when it comes to your company’s culture or processes.

It’s time to pause and take a moment to assess the elements that make your company your company. Then it is time to design and plan your culture and path forward.

Your employees are looking to you for guidance on the next steps. They want you to recognize that your company and the world has changed. They want to know there is a plan.

Involve them in your plans for the future and how you want your culture to evolve.

Want some help brainstorming ideas? Give me a shout.