Despite the feeling that COVID-19 has pushed the “pause” button on the world — stopping entire industries in their tracks and disrupting the routines of professional and personal life — we’re on the cusp of emerging from a cruel scenario that did anything but stop time.

While we were grappling with new realities of isolation, economic uncertainty and fear, the world wasn’t put on hold like our dinner dates and haircuts. Economies have transformed, buying habits have changed and consumer needs and outlooks have shifted.

Businesses simply cannot “pick up where they left off” as masks, temperature checks and social distancing aren’t the only changes on the horizon … they’re just the most prevalent and highly visible.

New challenges await. But those looking pensively at their post-COVID-19 reality and how it has changed their competitive landscape and the needs and perceptions of their key stakeholders, may also discover that they are on the cusp of something else — opportunity. When armed with insights and strategic thinking, unchartered territory can translate into unrealized potential.

A Communicator’s Playbook: Surviving and Thriving in a Post-Pandemic World is intended to guide communications strategy using tried-and-true methods to mine for opportunities while mitigating threats. It poses questions that ensure broad perspectives and inputs are considered as no business’s path forward will solely be informed by closed-door meetings in a board room.

On a personal level, I’m craving a return to routine — and, yes, that includes a salon visit and a break from cooking. As a strategic communicator, I’m shunning routine and channeling my entrepreneurial thinking to help businesses redefine success measures, embrace change, differentiate and win.