Many think that the mark of a great champion is the nature and margin of their victories and the peaks they scale and reach. That’s only part of it. The mark of the greatest of champions is how they react and respond to challenges. That is when they become enshrined in our hearts and minds – as they rise again and into the immortal pages of history.
~ Rasheed Ogunlaru
Let’s be honest. The 2020 that has been, is not what anyone could have predicted or wanted. Even for veteran business leaders who have seen it all, they say, “we're in a moment that feels truly unprecedented”. Businesses bolted into 2020 with firm plans and optimistic outlooks. All that evaporated by mid-March as the focus for most companies turned from thriving to surviving. Now, as this turbulent year enters its final months, and with 2021 lies just over the horizon, a new question demands our attention.
What will 2021 bring and how can you and your organization be ready?
Like the clouds in the sky, each business/individual is unique and will have different positioning relative to what is coming. We have taken some time to craft a few fairly universal tips that are anchored in the belief that, despite all its challenges, 2020 did actually provide useful lessons for many of us to take into the new year.
1. Stay Adaptable and Flexible:
While it is important that you have SMARTI (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound and Inspirational) goals for 2021 that are broken into granular quarters, months, and maybe, even weeks and days, it is just as important in an atmosphere of high uncertainty, to have some scenarios that allow you examine how those goals might be affected by changes in the external environment. The biggest variable in 2021 is when the COVID pandemic will subside (based on the availability of vaccines, therapies, or other remedies). What are your worst, best and base case scenarios? How might your personal, professional, or business goals fair under each scenario? What can you do to limit your downside and maximize your upside?
2. Seize the Moment + Don’t Take Anything For Granted:
Conventional thinking is that you should measure seven times and cut once. These are wise words in a stable environment but may not necessarily hold true in 2021. In an uncertain environment which may be subject to changing on a dime, you may not have the luxury of time to painstakingly line all your ducks in a row. If you are seeking the perfect time, solution, team, product, or opportunity you could be wasting time. This is not to say that you should be wild and wanton in risk-taking, but you must understand that significant developments are likely to occur in 2021 which have the potential to change your fortunes, without much notice. To seize the moment, you must get comfortable operating in ambiguity, working with imperfect information, and staying alert to subtle shifts in micro and macro conditions.
3. Harness the Digital:
The year 2020 showed how crucial technology (and the digital space) is in modern life. Overnight, schools and business were shut down and the greater percentage of non-essential workers around the world had to switch to work-from-home configurations. This proved to be a double-edged sword. Initially, required significant changes in routine, limited social interaction, and the global economy took a hit (just to mention a few of the challenges). At the same time, people could work and shop more from anywhere, many enjoyed the benefit of spending more time with family, and virtual technologies made it possible to reach a wider array of people and organizations. At H.C. Bonum, we were able to serve a client across the pond in the United States for the first time. Advanced technologies are here to stay. Are you ready to harness their power to your advantage?
4. Eliminate the Noise
In years past, most people craved for opportunities to spend less time commuting back and forth from work. Well, this year offered that opportunity and much more. Based on the results of our Work-From-Home survey of over 3500 professionals in May, majority of the respondents indicated that they found the additional time away from work helpful to their productivity. Other reports have suggested that people have spent time being more mindful, peaceful and thoughtful. As we turn the page to 2021, it is important that we hold onto this mentality and eliminate the noise as much as possible. This applies at a corporate and individual level. What does this mean in practical terms? All those amazing evening walks and additional time spent with the family should not go away in 2021. There should be adequate time set aside for you to practice mindfulness and retreating/restrategizing/rethinking. It would be a shame if we all just went back to the hustle and bustle of years past!
5. Embrace the New “Normal”
Inasmuch as many of us would like for life to go back to “normal”, the reality is that there is no more “normal”. Our old lives are gone forever, and we need to face this reality. Many people may never return to the ‘work-from-the-office-five-days-a-week’ mode even after this pandemic is over. We will create a new “normal” together as we go along. So, what does that mean for you? Well, in many ways, the slate is clean, and the future is yours to shape. Get excited about the many ways you can reinvent yourself! Adopt a problem-solving mentality because your family, workgroup and organization are likely to face both old and new challenges and you know what they say…”problems are simply opportunities in disguise”. This year has pushed you, challenged you and stretched you. Guess what! You are still here. You had to bend. You may even have cracked a little. But you did not break! Take that strength and resilience with you into 2021.
So, there you have it. Some quick lessons to get you started on your planning for 2021. And as usual, we are here to support you and your organization in thinking, planning and evaluating your human capital needs.
We have two exciting virtual events lined up before the year runs out. A complimentary webinar: Escape Velocity- Building Momentum for 2021 on November 28th from 12:00PM - 2:00PM. If you are interested in being a part of this session register here: https://bit.ly/3mQdxsU
The second event is a paid virtual session on “Boost Your Productivity: How to Stop Wasting Time”. It is scheduled to hold on Saturday, December 5 from 12:00PM-2:00PM (WAT). For more information on this session and registration please click here: https://bit.ly/2GoKXz6
We look forward to hearing from you and supporting in your success.