How we made it through 2020 and what we’re doing differently in 2021.

We realised that planning is important but Resilience is critical.  

When the pandemic finally hit our shores, our best-laid plans went astray. We needed to reassess and readjust… very quickly. In reaching out to our clients and consultants, it was clear that we weren’t alone. 

In the beginning, we found that most businesses were struggling. However those that were able to dissect their business model, focus on more collaborative, systemic solutions and measure success beyond just business performance were able to bounce back more quickly.  

In 2021 we will be: Helping businesses flex their resilience muscle by making sure that in this unpredictable business environment they’re able to absorb stress, recover critical functionality and thrive in dynamic and ever-changing circumstances.  

We took a pause. 

2020 was a great opportunity to look inward and focus on improving our people engagement, processes and systems.  

Like many of our clients we took the time to work on the business, not just in it.  We were able to check in with our consultants and some of our clients to get a better understanding of what we were doing well and where we were falling short.  

They say “feedback is a gift”, we like to add “It’s what you do with it that counts”.

In 2021 we will be: Leading with empathy and knuckling down on all the valuable lessons we’ve learnt this year. From the importance of active listening to supporting our local communities and businesses we are excited about the possibilities.   

We adjusted our definition of success.    

This year has given us the opportunity to think about other ways to measure what it takes to be successful in business.  

Is it a happier and therefore more productive workforce or creating more opportunities for collaboration and innovation? 

We’ve found that our broader definition of success has helped us solidify our own purpose and has us asking “What kind of work do we want to do more of? Where can we make the biggest impact?” 

In 2021 we will be: Celebrating all our wins no matter how small and sharing our expertise and knowledge as we continue to build our Active Directions community. 

We made technology work for us.  

The events of 2020 not only shocked many businesses into re-evaluating their business models, they’ve also provided us with an unavoidable reason to embrace digital transformation.  

We’ve found that facilitating strategy and planning processes via virtual and digital channels can actually deliver better outcomes than in-person processes. It requires more preparation, more readiness to adapt to change, and more active participation from everyone but we’ve found the results make it well worth the effort. 

In 2021 we will be: Continuing to help our clients embrace the various online platforms that enable the virtual offices, focus groups and collaboration, that make virtual working sustainable and productive. We’ll also be helping businesses implement technology to support their employees in safely getting back to the physical office if and how they choose to.

Whilst 2020 has been full of challenges, set-backs and reckonings we’ve come through the other side with a few battle scars but also an enthusiasm for what’s possible. Our challenge to the Active Directions Community is to not let 2020 be a wasted opportunity. 

We’ll see you in 2021! 

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