The past two years has proven to be a challenge for most, if not all, of us.
We’ve spent more time being housebound than most would ever want.
We’ve exhausted all of the ‘must-see’ streamed content and even ventured into content that we’d never really want to see.
We’ve picked up new personal skills – such as baking, painting or learning an instrument, to while away the hours that would normally be spent getting out and about. We’ve battled the COVID kilos that for some are still proving hard to shake.
The challenges for business have been as equally intense as we had to come to terms with the new workplace norm where face-to-face time with colleagues, clients and stakeholders became virtual; where team members and clients had heightened levels of anxiety to deal with on top of everything else life throws at us; where the most used phrase of the year was ‘you’re on mute’; and where connection and collaboration were a little more complex.
It meant we had to up our virtual game to be as connected, or more so, with our clients and each other as we were prior to the pandemic.
At Lighthouse we’ve tested, trialled and adapted how we collaborate, communicate and connect – exploring the various apps and working rhythms to enable us to best capture the ‘creative pearls’ that we found in the physical office environment.
We continued to find ways to re-create the water cooler chats that sparked creative concepts, team members overhearing another’s challenge and sharing their ideas, the team lunches and afterwork drinks, and the brainstorming sessions we hold regularly to help our clients’ investment in us drive real and measurable results.
While it’s been a challenging two years, the great thing to see when I look at Lighthouse, our partners and clients, is that the results achieved demonstrate how resilient and resourceful we can all be.
It has also resulted in some great outcomes.
One that is particularly pleasing is that we’ve seen more authentic, transparent, engaging and empathetic communications in our interactions with all of our stakeholders.
Gone are the days of the obligatory small talk before we quickly jump right to the point. Instead, we’ve adopted a more human connection, talking about the dog barking or the kids bickering in the background, while also getting to the point of the discussion. As a result of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic, we’re also being kinder to each other, and more empathic.
The other outcome is our greater appreciation of our community and the things that matter to us the most, which has seen greater focus on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), particularly when it comes to the social aspect. Businesses across Australia have placed a renewed focus on the social aspect, and hopefully that will continue.
As highlighted by J.P. Morgan research, the pandemic has also been identified as the 21st century’s first ‘sustainability crisis’, one that requires decision makers to prioritise ESG in investment decisions. The report, which polled investors from 50 global institutions representing a total of $12.9 trillion in assets under management, found that 71 per cent of respondents agreed that it was rather likely, likely, or very likely that the occurrence of a low probability/high impact risk event such as COVID-19 would increase awareness and actions to tackle similar major risks such as climate change and biodiversity losses.
I do hope that these and other positives that emerged will continue as we come out from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the curtain draws on 2021, I also wish that you and your families have a well-deserved festive season filled with great food, great laughs and great company that will all provide you with great memories. Merry Christmas…