2021 was a big disappointment. Or was it really? It depends on who you ask. And by the way, as we enter 2022, there are much more pertinent questions to ask. Such as ‘are we prepared for the new year’?
Most of us have short memory. Pressing pandemic-related issues totally overshadow fond memories and bad consequences of the reopening-parties from last summer. The urgency of daily challenges overshadow history – as they should. Which also means we’re more or less in a crisis handling mode when asked about 2021. And the answers we get have exactly that color – of crisis, leading to the quick conclusion that 2021 was a big disappointment.
The truth is more nuanced. Compared to expectations as we turned the calendar from 2020 to 2021, the year turned out pretty well for many – in particular around our local (northern) neck of the woods. We started on high alert, almost in survival mode, and ended up with decent growth and reasonable financials – firmly focused on catching the advantages and avoiding the pitfalls from 2020, as summarized in the following quotes from Frankly speaking and 2020: The takeaway:
It’s a bittersweet admission, but to many of us the state of emergency caused by the pandemic has been useful, even helpful. A legitimate reason to make overdue adjustments, change priorities, revise or cancel projects, and take on issues that have been on the back burner for ages. Suddenly many of them became critical. And objections to changes few and far between.Frankly Speaking
What we need is a honest review of 2020 – successes and failures, and why. A close look at the most important ingredients – focus, priorities, knowledge, resources, insight, energy and more. The review will – in many cases – reveal two common elements: Override and priorities. Instead of avoiding fights and opposition, we took them head on, pointed out the realities and took an ‘override’. Action over discussion. And we got better at identifying priorities – what’s important now and why – and using them. Again – less talk, more action.2020: The takeaway [mymayday.com]
As we enter 2022, both are very apt. The quotes, the posts and the takeaway. We learned and fixed, we changed and updated, we cleaned out and revised priorities, and got results. We – many, if not all – are on a good roll. For example, Q2 2020 was dominated by naïveté and hope: ‘It’s going to pass’, ‘it’s soon over’. By now, the naïveté is supplanted by (at least some) realism. Instead of hoping for smooth sailing, we’re preparing for a storm – and take the glimpses of sunshine as welcome breaks. 2022 is heading into supply chain problems, delays, shortages, instability, ransomware, overload, personell absence and more. If this sounds too bad, read again. This is reality. And there’s good news: When accepted, this reality isn’t all that bad. It’s challenging, and it’s our new normal.
It occurs to me that I’ve been using the word ‘mindset’ a lot recently, and it’s not incidental. This is all about mindset, thus the name of this blog-site. If your mindset tells you ‘this is a state of emergency’, that’s exactly what you get. A continuous emergency in which everything is a rush, everything is half-baked and temporary – a state of wait for something that never comes back.
The proper mindset comes when accepting that ‘this is normal’. Not the new normal, not the old, just ‘normal’. Only then will our thinking, planning, discussions and actions be synchronised with reality. This reality. Not yesterday’s, not tomorrow’s, just today’s. Which leads to the obvious observation that the ‘normal’ is ‘change’. Repeated countless times in countless contexts and channels recently, but still not generally understood and embraced.
2022 is going to be another demanding year. For those who choose to accept, contribute and take advantage of the dynamism and change, the year will be exciting and educating. For those who opt to fight reality, it will be continuous tragedy. Happy new year!