As mask mandates have been lifted and phasing out of pandemic precautionary behavior has begun, I am reminded of a change theory I wrote about in 2018 (dot 2301) in which I shared a model used by nonprofit Alia. The diagram represents the “old way” on the left being phased out as the organization heads toward the “new way” on the right. However, in the middle there is an overlap of the two ways of operating, lovingly referred to as “crazytown” because some processes are the old way and some reflect the new way, often making for crazy times as people attempt to figure out how to behave.

I feel like we are all living in crazytown lately. I went to one store that required masks and across town the same franchise did not. One store has its dressing rooms open while those at the adjoining store remain closed. Some establishments have reverted to extended hours and others remain on condensed schedules. Some dine-in options are available while others continue to operate as drive-through only. A commercial on the radio today promoted a product for when you’re “stuck at home baking” followed by another ad for entertainment options that now exist. I flew on planes at full capacity, yet there was hardly any place open in the terminals.

The old and the new are intersecting at a slower pace than when we shut down. But before you rush back into doing things “as they were” reflect on what practices from the new way you wish to preserve. Our school district is continuing remote learning as an option. My salon has loosened some of its protocols but will continue bringing dryers to the individual chairs instead of in a central location. I think sanitizer has become a permanent fixture in my car. My pre-ordering of food via an app will continue as it eliminates waiting in line.

What will you add? What will you let go of? Take advantage of this rare period of system-wide limbo to make choices that will benefit you long after social distancing has been forgotten.

Download the diagram here.

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