I recently read an article discussing predictions of what's to come after the pandemic. The article mentioned the typical path that consumer behavioral change follows when it comes to new technology/product adoption. Most of us are probably familiar with this path of consumer behavior. It takes the shape of a standard bell curve on which "early adopters," "early majority," "late majority," and "laggards" fall at different points along the curve. The driving factor behind placement on the bell curve is ultimately consumers' willingness to change. The early adopters are the consumers who willingly accept and seek out change, and the laggards are the consumers who prefer to avoid change.

The article described how the pandemic essentially defied the standard path of consumer behavior as entire consumer bases were forced to change in the blink of an eye. Even laggards, who typically delay adopting new products or new technologies, were forced to instantaneously adopt new technologies in order to keep working and living during the pandemic.

Although there are always those few who willingly embrace and seek out change (early adopters), it's common knowledge that change is hard and is reluctantly embraced by the majority. When it comes to change, I started wondering if the pandemic might have a lasting effect on our perception of change going forward? If change has historically been something that's reluctantly embraced, and even feared, will the pandemic alter our perception of change to make it less feared? Think about it. Even those most reluctant to change, the laggards, were forced to change during the pandemic. While some of them will return to their "past ways" once it's possible to do so, many of them have learned that there are other and better ways to do what they had always been doing. In this sense, even those most fearful of change in the past have come to realize that change isn't so bad after all, and in fact, can lead to better things. In other words, the pandemic has reduced the hesitation associated with change and has made many more comfortable with the idea of change because it forced even the most reluctant of us into it.

Think about your perception of change. Has it been altered throughout the pandemic? Are you more willing to try new things than you were in the past? Are you less fearful when it comes to thinking about what might happen if you do something differently? Or, are you ready to try and quickly get things back to the way you used to do them? While everyone has different perceptions of change, and while we've all been affected differently by the pandemic, some food for thought is to consider how this phenomenon might affect the way you, and others, approach change in the future. Perhaps you'll feel less hesitant about suggesting that new sales process idea you've had on your mind to your colleagues. Perhaps your customer conversations will change because your customers seem to be more willing than they were in the past to hear about the new ideas you have for them.

While there is no straight answer as to how the pandemic has/will affect the way we and those around us view change, it is something to be considered as we move forward in both our personal and professional lives.