This is the time of year I tend to slow down and reflect. As the current year closes and a new one lies ahead, I’ve spent time reflecting on many things, both personal and professional. Lately I’ve thought a lot about COVID-19 and its ongoing impact on work culture and change. As we close out 2021 I thought I would share some random musings, intentionally as a stream of consciousness. Sometimes getting them on paper is the first step to real change.
- I never thought we would still be talking about COVID-19 at the end of 2021.
- I always believed we did not need offices for work.
- But I didn’t think about the importance of transitions between work and home.
- I didn’t think about how the absence of the office may impact individual’s identities.
- What role do employers and leaders play in helping us fulfill our dreams of who we are or who we want to become?
- Employee values are shifting.
- I don’t think meaning and purpose are generational. The generational aspect is the courage to express it.
- I do not think we should snap back to what was pre-pandemic, but I’m not sure what’s next.
- Admitting what we don’t know and being ok with it may be the hardest part of trying to change.
- What I do know is that COVID-19 is accelerating a revolution that is changing the way we live, work, and relate, and I’m excited to think about and participate in that movement.
- This chance to change and improve will require humility, courage, and a willingness to challenge what we know—our mental models.
- Success will be about building a better tomorrow—not just for ourselves and our business, but for society.
- What we have discovered is that it’s not the work but the interaction that people value. It’s the chance to be part of an impactful community.
- We do need physical space to gather and connect but not to do tactical work or be observed.
- What should the space we once called “the office” become?
- I like the idea that it’s not office space anymore. It’s cultural space.
- I like the idea of creating a community that connects people to build strong relationships, blending the physical and digital worlds.
- The social contract for the employee and employer will change. I’m still not sure how, but I will work to help facilitate that change.
- I believe leadership is clearly about change, development, and support—not control and compliance. Or at least I believe that’s great leadership.
- I learned early in my life not to take any days or people for granted. COVID-19 has only reminded me of this.
- I know I need to lean in, lead, and make a difference. And if I’m willing to do that, the unknown could mean real opportunity for me and my team.
What are your year-end musings? Writing them down isn’t just a therapeutic to-do list; it’s also a good reminder we aren’t alone, and as a community that shares, we can learn so much from each other. I would love to know what you’re thinking heading into the new year and invite you to share a musing below.
I wish all of you and your loved ones a very happy holiday and New Year. Stay safe and well during these continued uncertain times. Front and Centered will be back in January, sharing a new post each month. We look forward to sharing and learning as a community in 2022!