The Keys to Success in 2020 and Moving into 2021

This month, we mark the one-year anniversary of life with COVID-19 and the onset of major changes to almost every aspect of our daily lives from work and schooling to leisure activities, and of course, our health. We mark this anniversary in mourning for so many lives lost and many more affected. The human toll is profound and significant. Many businesses have had to shut down permanently, even more employees have lost their jobs or have had their hours cut drastically, and those that remain suffer from mental health concerns due to isolation and pandemic-related stress. 

Yet amidst all this worry, hurt, and loss, we also see hope. Perseverance has led to innovation, and we’re inspired by the hard-working people starting new businesses or pivoting to succeed in this new environment. We’re thankful for the executives who are marshaling businesses to success and sustainability, and we are honored to work alongside them to transform chaos into strategic change.

As 2020 came to a close, we curated a survey and had numerous conversations asking both business and non-profit leaders two simple questions:

  1. What made the biggest positive impact to your organization in 2020?

  2. What opportunities do you think will best help your organization moving forward? 

Surprisingly, the responses fell neatly into two themes. Looking back on 2020, the executives largely attributed their successes to relationships. Looking forward to 2021, most believed that sharpening their focus would be the best path to success in the year ahead. And these replies make sense.

To survive significant change, like what we experienced in 2020, people must work together both internally and externally. People responded, “Collaborating!” or “Digging into our internal culture and its impact on employees and other stakeholders.” And this sentiment extended externally, too, as people attributed their success to “solidifying partnerships with outside organizations.” To make it, we all needed to lean on each other – a resounding theme across the board.

Looking forward into 2021, leaders felt that opportunities would arise from increased focus. For some, that new focus was big – for example, “a vision for the future” – and for others, it was down in the weeds – “refine systems and processes.”  And while these may seem very different, all of these efforts focus on adding value for customers or stakeholders.  

So as we move further into 2021, we want to put these two pieces of feedback together. First, build relationships internally and externally to make your organization more resilient. And second, focus on your customers, their needs, and serve them. As we mark the one-year anniversary of life amidst the pandemic, keep these themes top of mind to steer your continued success. 

Share with us what your organization is doing in 2021 to find your focus and add value for the customer!