What we’ve learned in 2021 in:

Business
  • The world’s supply chains are intricately connected, which makes them vulnerable to major disruptions. Clients have been burnt by not having up-to-date visibility across the whole supply chain; as a result the demand for reporting and dashboards has never been greater.
  • All the cost cutting in the world will never make up for a retreating top line. Ideas are 1% of the process, discipline, commitment and execution is what makes the difference.
  • All the planning in the world won’t take the place of being flexible and being able and willing to take a managed risk and think outside the square.
Ways of Working
  • Embed mandatory “x no. of days in the office” policies at your peril because:
    1. Covid is still very much evolving and you may have to flip flop

    2. Flexibility should be seen more broadly than just face to face vs remote work.

Employers should consider flexibility in other ways that matter to employees e.g. providing flexibility to work different hours and days may be more valuable than just thinking about mandatory days you need to be in the office. A parent may want to work in the office (because they can’t get anything done at home!) but may want to start early, finish early.

It’s also important that you don’t underestimate the value of having face to face for meetings, planning, and delivery. Consider ‘anchor days’ where everyone is face to face regularly.
In the end you need to be able to provide flexibility by individual by role/task, instead of broad policies.

  • Simplify, simplify, simplify. If you need to set more than 4 goals for any given customer next year then you haven’t got the right goals yet; keep distilling and making hard choices until you do.
  • Its OK to have quiet times…use them wisely to recalibrate and re energise
How we live
  • This too shall pass”…whilst it seems that a possible 7 week lockdown will be interminable, time does pass. It was important to me to have some structure, recognise and celebrate the small achievements.
  • Being at home for an extended period without seeing friends and family, it made me really push for other ways of communication without being face to face. Organising video calls, trivia nights and just regular catch ups really helped through a difficult period. It made me realise that with a little bit of effort, technology really is a great way to keep in touch. It also made me feel quite young again with getting outside as much as possible. Taking some time away from the rigours of work and enjoying time outside has been awesome.
  • Focussing on the outputs and deliverables of projects has given me great flexibility in the pursuit of work / life balance.
  • Enjoy the “moment” as any lock-downs can/ will potentially disrupt future ways of living 😉

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