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Post-COVID – will things go back to how they were?

April 16, 2020

A big item of debate right now is whether COVID-19 will cause fundamental change in the way we do business. Will it lead to a new era of collaboration? Will contracts become ‘fair and reasonable’? Or will organizations simply revert to the old ways of battling over price and risk?

Much may depend on whether the pandemic truly represents a social disruption (leading to transformation), or whether it is simply an interruption, following which things return pretty much to normal.

To give an example, in the 1300’s the Black Death eliminated around 25% of the world’s population. It led to shortages of labor, shifts in social power and geopolitics. COVID-19 is having far less impact on human life, yet short-term is having greater economic impact. Will that be enough to drive changes in our values and behavior?

A desire for change

In a poll this week, 93% of Contracts and Procurement professionals said that they hope the experiences of the pandemic will result in increased collaboration and long-term change. When asked whether they believe such change will occur, 17% say it won’t and 15% say any change will be short-term. But that left 68% who feel optimistic that this is a time when real change is possible.

That is good news – and collectively, it is something the commercial community can make happen.

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