As we gather our thoughts and look at the past year, I have to reminisce about our last in person events at Systemair in NB and ADL on PEI, with rooms full of individuals exploring a relevant topic and expanding their peer networks. It puzzles me that there was little chatter about COVID-19 (maybe a little in regard to supply chain) but yet, within two weeks we were completely shutdown and cancelling events.
Like many, we waded through the changes and realized the importance of our position within industry; a position that was no different than before but one that had to be done differently. EMC had to be relevant and we had to maintain the infrastructure that allowed people to connect for the sake of information sharing and support.
Through the challenging, and busier than ever, months of constant change, EMC’s ‘Member Needs Help’ was overwhelmed with questions and, thanks to members, non-members and community partners, it was also overwhelmed with answers and sharing. To your credit…. a commendable job!
As we acknowledge the challenges, it is important to recognize the learnings. No doubt the list will be different for everyone but here are some thoughts from members:
- I learned how to use Zoom; didn’t we all! More importantly, I became more comfortable with different technologies.
- Nothing is permanent so don’t sweat the small stuff.
- We are doing things better, quicker, more efficiently out of necessity; the best ‘Lean’ program we have ever been through.
- Empathy, we are all in the same situation and can relate…. regardless of title
- Accelerated progress in areas of digital marketing, presence on social media and virtual selling
- ‘Change, we learned how to change, respond and make decisions quickly and strategically ’
- We learned what was critical and essential….in more than just our businesses.
- Advancements in technology to mitigate the reduced labor pool
There are many more but the opportunity now, is to take the good stuff forward; to do things in a different way where it makes sense and to identify and re-establish those lost components that we still value as critical.
We will return to networking in person when conditions allow but, in the meantime,, we will continue to address those issues many are bringing forward that require support.
There is no doubt that there will be challenges into the new year but, as we approach the Holiday season, my wish for you is that you have an opportunity for relaxation and recharging.
My best to everyone for a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!