Lessons from 2020

As we hurtle towards the end of the year, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief from family, friends, colleagues and customers ready to be done with the events of the last 10 months.  For better or worse, the challenges of 2020 will soon be behind us but there are certain things we have all learned worth taking into 2021. Here are my key take-outs.

There is opportunity in chaos

One of the most common phrases for 2020 thrown around in the media, between colleagues and over virtual ‘drinks’ with friends was how we navigate such ‘unprecedented times’. But the truth is that this was not the first time humanity has had to withstand such challenging circumstances.

Without taking away from the scale and reach of Covid-19, let’s remember that humankind has withstood two world wars and continues to fend off other global crises from the Ebola virus to the war on terror daily.

Historically innovation has always been borne out of hardships. Yes it’s easy and almost natural to fall into a state of fear and panic but being able to find opportunity in a time of crisis not only ensures business continuity but often meets a very real societal need like the scores of local groups that designed masks or even produced non invasive mechanical ventilators.

For us at SearchKings™ Africa we have helped our clients find new and innovative ways to unlock their business potential online and find new and existing customers online in their key moment of intent. As local businesses, we are now more acutely cognizant of the meaning of customer loyalty than ever before, while consumers the world over are leaning on local businesses for support to weather uncertain times.

We are more resilient and adaptable than we think

The pace of digital acceleration and adoption of new ways of working in the last few months is a clear indicator that we are far more resilient and adaptable than we give ourselves credit for. Even when we think we can’t, we really can!

No one really could have predicted how businesses would respond to changes in customer demands or what the impact to the workforce would look like – but we maneuvered to support and manage people as best we could.  We made smaller budgets work harder for our customers and leaned more on insights and data to inform strategy. Above all else, we learned there is no better time to be human and live and work purposefully with compassion for our customers and team.

At SearchKings™ Africa we even used this time to reassess the core values we stand for as a business re-evaluating everything from honest and open communication to how we best deliver a shared vision of what success looks like for our customers.

Finding the balance

There is nothing like a global crisis to remind us of what is really important. My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world on March 25th – the day before the start of the country’s national lockdown. Needless to say it has been a whirlwind of a year for us. 

But the last few months have been remarkable in a personal way, allowing me to bond and spend time with my son and support my wife in ways that ‘a pre-Covid-19 world’ may not have afforded. 

As we now start to make our way back to the office or move from remote to hybrid ways of working, it has never been clearer to me how important a work/life balance is and living it and talking about it are two different things entirely. 

2020 has been a hard year but nonetheless peppered with lessons and a strong reminder to be grateful for what we have. I would love to hear about your lessons and insights from this year. Please feel free to share.