I’m proud of the businesses, large and small – some that we know personally and others that we just read about or hear about – which have sacrificed and re-invented themselves during 2020 in order to cope with this global pandemic. It has been a study in American ingenuity at its best.
Re-inventions have included:
· Brand new delivery systems for getting products and services into the hands of customers.
· Product innovations to serve new needs uncovered by COVID.
· Service businesses going above and beyond to address their clients’ and customers’ needs quickly and efficiently.
· Customer-facing businesses making themselves and their physical spaces safer.
· Companies creating new ways to interact and pivot both internally and externally.
· Smart, new uses of technology to stay connected.
· Flexibility in terms of recognizing that different customers have different needs and then varying their choices accordingly.
· Communicating more frequently and more clearly than ever, as we have moved through the various phases and stages of this pandemic.
But beyond these new and sometimes highly creative business solutions to the problems of not being able to reach out to our colleagues and customers in the usual ways, I have been even more impressed in terms of how the corporate mindset now frequently includes special touches of kindness and human empathy that may not have been there before.
We see it in terms of businesses that previously had very rigid policies regarding employee work arrangements:
· Employers now realize that if they have hired the right people who match well with their philosophies and corporate culture, those employees don’t have to necessarily be sitting at their desks in the company’s office all day in order to be productive. They understand in a very real way that productivity can be measured best in terms of output, results and a different kind of accountability, rather than strictly by physical presence.
· There is a heightened sense of understanding that employees have new family challenges as a result of COVID, such as sudden school closures or furloughed spouses, which require enlightened corporations to exhibit an increased degree of creativity and flexibility in order to help them meet these new challenges.
· It has been uplifting to see our own team in addition to some of our client companies reach out to each other within their work settings to fill in and around team members who are quarantining or taking care of unexpected family situations.
We hear a lot about kindness these days, and I truly believe that (along with a vaccine!) it is one of the most critical elements in terms of helping our country and our world get well.
The holidays will be different for a lot of people this year, and in addition to extending kindness to our families and friends, let’s all include kindness as a conscious, driving force in terms of how we run our businesses and interact with our internal teams and our external customers. Stay safe and well!