I hate the phrase “new normal” to describe this horrible time we’re living through and what lies ahead. I wrote about the phrase in early May, quoting my colleague, Constance Dierickx, who said, “This situation is not the new normal; it is a time of extreme disruption.” To me, “new normal” implies resigning yourself, settling, saying, “Well, I guess this is the way it’s going to be and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
And then, a couple of weeks ago I attended a panel sponsored by the Executives’ Club of Chicago on “Reinventing to Reopen: How to Succeed in our New Normal.” One of the speakers introduced the phrase “the new better.”
BLAM! What an impact that phrase had. Even though the event was virtual, you could feel the mood of the panelists changing. The other speakers started to use “new better” immediately. Why was it so powerful? Because it implies that in the midst of all our troubles, we are moving towards something better. It suggests that what comes next will be a combination of what was good before the pandemic with innovations that will improve our lives. It hints that while we are struggling we are also learning and inventing. It is profoundly optimistic.
I’ve been talking about the new better ever since, and every time I use the phrase, people respond positively.
The new better — I can’t wait to see what it looks like.
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