In the last month, we have been delighted to be involved in both the Road trip in Scotland where 40 industry professionals travelled from Edinburgh to Skye as well as the Great Post Lockdown Walk which we have written much about in the past week. All who have been involved have noted that there is a great sense of collaboration and of wanting to support one another as we begin to re-emerge.
There is real pleasure and intentional investment being undertaken once again in those base pillars of friendship, companionship and mutual collaboration rather than an overriding need to look for immediate gain.
One of the most common comments, as many rebuild, is “Let’s just do things right, get the offer right and people will come” rather than a focus on maximising profit. Considering all the pressures and battles we have faced, there is something reassuring about all the real offers of support and care being extended.
At the same time, as many start to return to work, so too are the “business prevention squads”, the “blockers” which exist across all companies and industries who remain unchanged in their need to be negative, closed minded, over critical and questioning of the motives of those who are striving to create positive change. It is all natural and just part of their normal psyche; always has been, always will be. The difference now is that most recognise the “blockers” and just smile and ignore them as the greater focus is on rebuilding with care and compassion and with an overwhelming desire to correct the errors of the past . There is something very special building.
We all know the industry faces some intense battles and challenges ahead. There will be many good people who will struggle and who will fall. Good companies too will be lost through no fault of their own. Most understand this and the sense is that the industry does want to learn the lessons of what did not work well, and what can be done better as we all rebuild. This is a time for care and compassion to be shown towards all and for those who struggle, for friendship and collaboration to be extended so that everyone feels that there are others there in their corner as they seek advice, information and support.
After all the criticism and debate in recent years over trust and behaviours, it will be those two factors which will be central in the rebuilding as, during the last year, many have rediscovered who they really want to work with, what they want to strive for, whom they really trust, which relationships they can rely on and what is important in business.
Business will be more professional and transparent than ever. Leadership too has changed and the days of an all dominant CEO are becoming less and less of importance as the focus has been shifted more on to collaboration. There is a new focus on people, on retention, on great working environments and on talent development. With the loss of so many, the war for talent will become a greater battlefield and we will see a return to investment in this area. Sustainability too is on every board agenda with a number of companies seeking to create new solutions, even own their own farms.
There is a sense of something quite special building: the start of a new era of collaboration and new thinking and those who refuse to adapt, broaden their thinking and behaviours or mitigate their criticism may just be left behind.