This week marks several milestones for me personally and guideposts for our collective future. It is Thanksgiving week in the year 2020. I am thinking that one thing we might all be thankful for … is that it means it is almost over! 2020 has been a year of aggravated assault on many fronts. It would be nice to think we could just quarantine the madness in the year 2020 and leave it all behind us.

Yet, in spite of that, I encourage all of us to seek and find our sense of hopefulness and optimism. I know that there is much in my life that I am grateful for and appreciate every day. One of those things is my daughter Meaghan who has one of those “big” birthdays this year and it always lands during Thanksgiving week.

I am also thankful to live in a great country in which I am confident will demonstrate the kind of resilience and adaptability needed to move from where we are (seemingly stuck in the muck) to get to a more promising, positive and productive future.

Organizations (even big ones like our country) need to continuously re-establish clarity around what really matters, create unity and commitment for operating with shared values and ethos and build a sense of agility to address issues and obstacles better and faster by creating more inclusion and engagement.

It is also abundantly clear that there is much work to be done in developing more adaptive, resilient and agile organizations … and that this MUST become a strategic priority for organizations in 2021.

McKinsey & Company has again published a recent study reconfirming and validating these conclusions and the notion that “rethinking workforce learning strategies” to create more adaptive learning culture is an imperative for success. Below are a few of the conclusions from this study published today.

  • Nearly 80 percent said that CAPABILITY BUILDING is very or extremely important to their organizations’ long-term growth, compared with 59 percent who said that this was true before the pandemic.
  • 53% rank “re-skilling” their workforce capabilities as the “MOST USEFUL” way to close the gap … more than making external hires, redeploying people and hiring contract workers combined!
  • 40% said they are spending MORE TIME on enhancing workforce learning programs than before COVID-19 crisis began.
  • Nearly 100% agreed that the MOST IMPORTANT capabilities they need to develop include: leadership, the ability to inspire others as well as resilience and adaptability!
  • While the conclusions, priorities and urgency for organizational capability building are very clear and prescient, only 45% said they have an existing plan to address these gaps.

2021 looks like it will be another incredibly chaotic and uncertain year … hopefully filled with much more positive growth, healing and unity versus 2020.  We all know we need to stretch and develop ourselves in so many ways.  This applies to our leaders, teams and organizations as well.  The winners will get it and accelerate.  The stubborn and naysayers will get left behind. 

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Tom O'Shea, CMC

Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) - these are the times we live in and exactly why Tom O’Shea is considered a trusted advisor helping leaders, teams and organizations adapt and thrive to navigate VUCA and deliver future success.

Tom brings a unique blend of strategic, operational and organizational expertise that is rare and valuable.  With perceptive insight, proven strategies and impactful coaching skills, he helps clients at the enterprise, team and individual leader levels exceed even their own expectations.

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