The story of 2020 is still being written, and while we are all being tested personally and professionally, there will be many great outcomes to this story. Change is hard—this year has been a reminder that comfortable is not always good or better.
2020 has also been a story of disruption and fragility that are forcing change. But the long-term narrative will shift to resiliency. To quote Jim Collins, 2020 will teach us that “good is the enemy of great.”
We have been forced to rethink personal priorities. Stable business models have been disrupted. And we have been reminded that there is still a lot of work to be done on social equality. Weaknesses have been exposed that will become opportunities. As we progress through the change curve phases of denial and frustration, we will work our way towards acceptance and find the energy to pursue these opportunities.
On a personal level, I miss coaching, traveling, and visiting family and friends in other states. But I have also valued the ability to spend more quality time at home with my wife and our children. Work dinners, networking events, and spring sports have been replaced by card games, family movie nights, and a myriad of home projects.
I have also adapted my routine to include the guitar, landscaping, and cooking large family dinners. While I don’t expect to join a band or become a chef, these creative outlets have helped me clear my mind following days filled with Zoom marathons. With summer now here, I look forward to exploring more around the state of Maine, seeing my kids back on the baseball field, and an eventual return to school.
For ATX, the year opened with a bang! As we settled into our new offices, we continued to grow our team, expanded our technical capabilities, and saw continued traction for our selection, strategy and implementation services. While we didn’t see COVID19 coming, and disrupted plans are certainly a disappointment, our greatest loss is that we miss doing some of the things we love.
We miss our clients’ faces, their personalities, and a chance to unwind over lunch or a cocktail. We value face-to-face interaction, facilitating at the whiteboard, and the chance to observe our dynamic clients in motion. We miss having our team in the office, beer Fridays, and design sessions in the conference room. Like others, we have found new ways to connect, which get the job done, but frankly aren’t as satisfying.
As consultants, we often focus on efficiency, incremental gains as part of a broader plan, and methodical approaches to enacting change. But disruption has altered this model. While many strategic plans have traditionally focused on growth, efficiency, and scalability, they have been replaced with new objectives such as increasing agility, innovation, connectivity, community and culture.
From a technology perspective, analytics and automation have certainly been winners along with technologies focused on collaboration and connectivity. We have seen significant demand for our forecasting and business intelligence solutions as clients look to get a better handle on leading indicators and the ability to proactively manage their business. While some industries have delayed projects, others have accelerated implementations as they saw the opportunity to use their available resources to tackle longer-term strategic projects.
Disruption has provided the unique opportunity to take a step back and gain a fresh perspective. As we have adjusted our personal lives and reprioritized, we have done the same with our businesses.
Performance expectations have been adjusted for most businesses, and missed forecasts will be explained as a footnote. Businesses will adapt, our communities will be stronger, and we will find better solutions to new and existing challenges.
Not all of our changes will stick, but if we do it right, the changes we make now will have a lasting impact!
Autor: Mark DiGiovanni, Partner