At the beginning of this year, I too fell for the catchy “2020 Vision” mantra, hoping for a year of incredible new experiences, personal and professional progress, and meeting every single one of my goals. It was so easy to romanticize 2020 Vision – who doesn’t want “perfect eyesight”? And to get to apply that to every part of life for a whole year? Sign me up!
What it seems we collectively forgot at the start of this year is that 2020 vision brings clarity, not perfection. It means that we can see clearly, and it doesn’t just bring clarity about the best parts of our lives, or to only the most beautiful things we see. It brings clarity to every part of life.
When considered that way, 2020 Vision isn’t actually so disappointing. There are so many things that I see more clearly after my 2020 experience:
- Relationships that matter
- How to relate to others who think differently than me
- Myself and how I respond to different experiences – where I am strong and where I have room to grow
- How incredible a place to work my company is, how much they care for their customers and employees, and how lucky I am to work with the leaders I do
- Just how long I can survive in a one-bedroom apartment 24/7
- How to sit with the grief of myself and others
- The impact of community and regular access to connection in the ways we each experience it
While we were all learning about ourselves, our companies have also been placed in situations to grow and gain clarity this year. The amount of flexibility, pivoting, and preparedness organizations have needed in order to be successful has been astounding this year. Companies had to make some quick changes this year, and many have gained clarity on operational processes, including:
- The critical need to be able to operate remotely as much as possible. While this isn’t possible in every business model, the typical office went remote quickly, and those without collaborative systems in place felt it immediately. Productivity rises with visibility, and companies investing in tools to empower remote work will reap the benefits of these investments in productivity, reduced errors, and retained data during employee transitions. With remote work not looking like it will go away any time soon, this will be an important part of continued business.
- The importance of secure systems. Tools and training that both remote and in-office teams require are secure systems and training on how to keep their technology secure. We’ve seen an influx of hacking this year, and employees working from home can increase this risk. IT teams have had to pivot quickly in critical ways.
- How to provide help to employees wearing far more hats than normal. During the workday, it used to be fair to assume that you had the majority of the attention of employees. During these special circumstances, many are playing parent, teacher, caregiver, and more while “at work.”
- The strength of their emergency preparedness and policies. Updating existing policies, adding COVID-specific policies, or creating policies from scratch if they weren’t already in place.
- How to keep customers and employees safe in environments where remote work is not possible. Think about all the changes you see at the grocery store!
The unique circumstances of this year have caused each us to learn and grow in new ways. There are positive things that we can find in the clarity, lessons, and unique opportunities 2020 brought us. However, this year has also brought each one of us much grief, unease, loss, and challenge, all in very different ways. To those who have lost much this year, my heart goes out to you. And while I’m not one to easily pass over grief, I invite you, if you are able, to consider: What do you see more clearly after gaining 2020 Vision for one year?