As 2020 was peaking over the horizon with sun-like hope, I asked my colleagues to share their reflections of 2019 and their hopes for 2020.
Of course this year has been unprecedented, but re-reading these 11 months later has made me think that maybe 2020 wasn’t as much of a u-turn, but possibly just an acceleration of a worrying set of trends. Here these reflections and hopes are again – they startled me.
Reflecting on 2019
“The need to shift behaviour became more critical than ever before. Most people seemed closer to burnout and were gripped by stress and anxiety. Feelings of hopelessness and survival behaviours were on the rise, while empathy and connection were in decline. More people in organisations seemed to be rejecting blind loyalty to authority and were applying more pressure on companies to explore their role as social, political and environmental contributors beyond profit.” — Marc Rogatschnig
“It was an incredibly tough year in the context of the South African business environment, economy and socio-political space. Businesses suffered, and companies were seeking real value-adding inputs to enhance their performance. — Ivor Clucas
“I spent most of my time with leaders helping them to realise that treating employees with respect at work is crucial, not because it improves productivity and the bottom line, but because it is the right thing to do.” — Lauren Davis
“Leaders who focused on agility, innovation and long-term solutions instead of immediate gain were more successful.” — Mariheca Otto
“Last year showed me, yet again, that our success is determined by the questions we ask.”— Malcolm Ferguson
“It was a year of asking the question behind the question and facing the enormity of life – aging parents, growing kids, nurturing a marriage. A year filled with my own questions about meaning.”— James Spice
“It became harder to do simple things as complexity choked us. There were more companies and people than ever that seemed stuck. They don’t want you to disrupt their box, just redesign the interior. As a fellow consultant said, reinvention in the box pays the bills, but it’s not solving the real problems. More consultants, more opinions, less wisdom.”— Jeremy Barty
“A year that was filled with learning, stretch, fulfillment and change. What helped me most was the ability to slow down, reflect and manage my energy well so that I had space and time to be with the intensity and pace of the year as it galloped along.” — Gavin Shaskolsky
“Be brave, be bold and have the difficult conversations that you need to have in your life. When you tackle that challenge head-on, you grow!” — Ian Kennedy
Hopes and Aspirations for 2020
“To support leaders to grow their collective consciousness and start thinking more about how their decisions and actions impact everything around them. To contribute to an economy that strengthens and offers us all greater opportunity by helping companies and individuals get closer to fulfilling their real potential.” — Ivor Clucas
“To continue holding onto hope for a better future for South Africa. To parent, partner and relate with a full, healthy and happy heart that has room to give and humility to receive.” — Jessie Orwin
“To be present, grateful and engaged in the wonderful relationships and partnerships I have in my personal and professional life. To deepen relationships and make sure people know and experience how much I appreciate them.” — Gavin Shaskolsky
“To assist more business leaders to see the impact that larger environmental factors have on their business. To enable leaders to be focused on long-term solutions instead of short-sighted plans and quick deals. — Mariheca Otto
“That my clients will be both courageous and curious.” — Malcolm Ferguson
“My hope for 2020 is for people to listen more to what their wisdom is telling them, what their heart desires, and what their intuition knows.” — Ian Kennedy
“That more people will come to understand that one’s state of being is the foundation for all doing. Responding from a disturbed state of being does not build anything sustainable.” — Jeremy Barty
“To serve leaders and business with a deep integrity for what we believe is in the interest of the greater good, so that business will adopt the maxim that doing good is good for business.” — Heinrich Langner
“A reprieve from relentless flows of information and data, and more resonant and pervasive access to wisdom. Time to slow down and be present to the precious things in life. Honing in on neighbourly connection and community as a measure of societal health. A year of abundant sharing, every day, in small ways with all the people we meet.” — Marc Rogatschnig
I’m tempted to hit repeat on all of these, which makes me shudder a little. What would your reflections, hopes and aspirations be now?