The trough of disillusionment

Gartner : Hype Cycle

The curve above is something the research company Gartner uses to interpret hype around new technologies and begins with an “innovation trigger”.

Innovation can involve technology but doesn’t have to. My own definition of innovation:

Innovation is simply doing different things and doing things differently

Today I feel to apply the Hype Cycle curve not to Products (as Gartner does), but to our own experience of various changes, innovations and how our responses to them may change over time. In particular, to our experience, as we move through the Covid-19 Pandemic.

As we highlight the curve, I am asking you to be aware of, or even “beware of” the “Trough of Disillusionment”.

As we move through the Pandemic, every day we hear of new “innovations”. Sometimes they actually are around technology (eg potential new vaccines or other medical treatments), sometimes around public policy (eg wearing masks), sometimes “doing things differently and doing different things” can be about easing up the lockdown as case numbers drop, or, unfortunately, sometimes the reverse.

Dropping down into the Trough of disillusionment

This morning, though, I felt “down”. I guess I was dropping into a “trough of disillusionment” for two different reasons. One reason was personal to me, one more global.

First, on a personal level, a few weeks ago I started “house hunting”, but yesterday got some news that feels it may limit my options. It felt a bit depressing, that I was dropping off a peak of inflated expectations down into a trough of disillusionment. I know I’ll work out the way forwards, up the “slope of enlightenment”, but right now it doesn’t feel great to be in that “trough”.

On a more global level, I have many friends and clients across the USA. In many US States, after initial drops in cases, they are now seeing radical increases and, in the case of California, they are seeing state-wide tight restrictions being re-imposed. I truly feel for everyone experiencing that. They too are dropping down into the “trough” at this time.

Beware, be aware, be kind

With Covid-19, as we move through innovation after innovation of “doing different things and doing things differently”, be aware of where we are collectively and where you, personally, feel you are on the curve.

To close, “awareness is the greatest agent for change”, so when we do bring awareness to how we feel and that we are in a “trough”, that is the first step to rising out of it.

Beware, be aware, and be kind, to yourself and to others.

Also published on Medium.