Reflecting on the whirlwind of 2020, there is one thing that has been drilled into every fibre of being – change is inevitable; and not changing or adapting is not an option. However as Tony Robbins points out in the above quote – the progress component is in fact ‘optional’. This year has not only seen drastic change but also adversity; who would have thought that the world was due to come under siege and lives turned upside down by a new virus? Be that as it may; this year has also seen remarkable innovation, courage and brilliance emerging from many quarters.

Those organisations who were most agile and resilient have fared relatively well and been quick off the marks to respond nimbly to the crisis; and worked tirelessly to respond to policy announcements and business issues arising. Other organisations have risen to the challenge to innovate and ‘pivoted’ their service offering or products to meet new market demand and in some cases excelled – growing their customer base. Then there are those entities who are just managing to survive and respond to the latest developments; peddling as fast as they can to keep up. And, finally, there are those that have sadly gone under.

The vaccine thankfully means there is a light at the end of the tunnel in as far as day to day interaction and socialisation come Easter; but there is inevitably going to be many more bumps for business during 2021 as we embark on the long journey of economic recovery. This is an opportunity to ‘take the bull by the horns’, make plans and do things differently, or simply face the inevitable. As Henry Ford says: ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’

What are your goals for 2021 and how are your people going to enable you to get there? Consider these questions:

  1. How resilient is your workforce? How agile and adaptive to change?
  2. How well did staff respond to the pandemic crisis? And what have they learnt so far?
  3. How well are your leaders coping? And what support do they need?
  4. How engaged and motivated are staff? What encouragement and tools do they need to embark on a new year and cope with the next phase of tackling Covid19?
  5. What is your new employee engagement proposition in a remote working world?
  6. How well does your operating model and organisational design align with your goals for 2021 and beyond?
  7. What are the business critical roles and skills you need to achieve your strategic aims?
  8. What is your workforce development plan for the next 3-5 years?
  9. What are the priority skills gaps? And what is the training plan to address these gaps and up-skill or re-skill staff?
  10. How is your talent and recruitment strategy going to enable you to flourish? And what opportunities are you offering to help kick start the economy?

How did you answer these questions? Could you answer these questions confidently? If not, a new year is a good time to consider addressing the issues that have been keeping you awake at night, and planning for the future. You may find, however, that there are some concerns holding you back from reaching out – for example:

  • Lack of clarity of the actual issues or state of play – that’s ok, sometimes the first step is getting help to get clarity and pull together an evidence base or business case for change.
  • No ‘headspace’ to consider as currently ‘firefighting’ – can you afford to stick your head in the sand at this point and not consider the future? Better to pro-actively prepare now and take control rather than be reactive and on the back foot – and that may mean bringing someone in who can dedicate headspace and energy to the matter in hand.
  • Worried that saying you need help will reflect negatively on your own ability or performance – no one knows everything or is good at everything – strong leadership is about being brave enough to say that you don’t have all the answers – but have a plan to get the answer.

There is always help at hand. Get in touch for a chat about what’s keeping you awake at night. 

Liz Walkley
Empowering Insights