There has been much talk of’ behavioural change’ as a result of coronavirus and probably more to come. As marketing professor Mark Ritson so eloquently demonstrates in his recent webinar (which I’d urge you to hunt down) this is likely to be very short-lived. He clearly shows, that even after events such as foot and mouth where people died, millions of cattle were slaughtered and beef sales plummeted just a few short years’ later beef sales not only recovered but increased.
Indeed, management consultants, Mc Kinsey have shown that change management is ‘notoriously difficult to carry out’ for many reasons. Ultimately it’s all about people moving from being persuaded, to wanting to change, to that change becoming habitual and as a result, creating a new culture. On a personal level I know it’s easy to decide to make a change but sustaining it so much harder. Every Monday I start a diet along with 46% of the rest of the population.
So whilst right now we are dealing with dramatic tactical changes in our respective worlds and business I am wary of thinking that this will herald a revolution in behaviour. Our clients and staff may indeed want different things for a while, a ‘ new norm’ if you like as we work our way through the next phases but all the evidence shows that eventually the majority of behaviour returns back to where it was.