In the midst of our daily routine, it can be very easy to overlook what we have accomplished. This has been especially true over the past year and a half, while we navigated through totally uncharted — and often frightening — waters. We were putting out fires at work and dealing with the health and safety of our loved ones as well as our staffs, all the while trying to maintain efficient and profitable operations.
It’s easy, even now, to overlook all that we have learned and how that informs the way we work today and probably will work well into 2022. And yet we’ve learned so much.
If there’s any good that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic, there it is.
Our perspectives have been broadened to accept such previously unfamiliar paths to efficiency as remote working, new technologies such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams and adjusting to unprecedented demands on our supply chains, adjustments that had to come virtually overnight. In previous times, such voluminous change would have taken years to accomplish, and even then with only small advancements. The past year and a half has been a study in adaptability.
We’ve risen to the challenge of maintaining corporate cultures in an era of isolation and onboarding new hires with training that could only be done virtually. Granted, nothing can beat the cultural messaging and collaboration that comes from a team that’s together in one place. But we are still saddled with restrictions on gatherings that seem to change daily and from locale to locale. I’m confident that there will come a time when “variant strains” will cease to dominate headlines and we’ll be able to get together freely once more . . . and without masks. Until then, we make do with what we have and support our teams to the best of our abilities.
For now, at least we have some answers. COVID and its variant strains are no longer new and not nearly as challenging. As we learned in our recent (and I might add, very successful) Fall Forum, COVID will be a topic of conversation for a while to come. But we were reminded once again that we have peers to whom we can turn to ask questions and share solutions. There is strength in unity, and that is a prime driver of IAMC’s mission.
Yes, there are still more questions than answers right now. We urge our members to keep asking, to be a part of the ongoing conversations that will get us through the next few months of ongoing uncertainty. Continue to attend our Forums, as well as our IAMC Locals, to meet with your colleagues and discuss the issues that remain top-of-mind, whether or not they are directly linked to COVID.
I urge you to visit the IAMC website and check out the upcoming events for a Local near you: www.iamc.org/Calendar. (You should know that the popular “Get Some Help” sessions that take place in our Forums are also part and parcel of our Local events as well.)
In the meantime, we must keep our hands on the tiller as we navigate these waters, and we must remain adaptive to change, learning from our peers and our recent past and remaining open to new methods of work. The more senior members of our organizations might even do well to learn from their younger peers and co-workers, a touch of reverse mentoring that could lead to a fresh idea.
Yes, there was some good that came from COVID-19. Take a moment to look beyond the challenges of the pandemic to reflect on how you have overcome them and how much you have accomplished. And keep building on your adaptability. That is the path to the future.
Chair, IAMC Board of Directors