This editorial letter originally appeared in WQP December 2020 issue as "A Fresh Start"
“We’re ready for 2020 to end and 2021 to begin,” has been a staple opener on emails, Zoom meetings and virtual events throughout the latter half of 2020, as correspondents and meeting attendees commiserate together over challenges faced in this past year.
2020 certainly has brought with it an abundance of unprecedented challenges, as communities across the U.S. have faced degrees of civil unrest coupled with obstacles to our previous way of life triggered by the coronavirus global pandemic. In conjunction with these intensely personal challenges we have all felt the impacts of, businesses have been forced to adapt rapidly to meet new standards for communication and customer service, prioritizing health and safety first and foremost.
In the face of all this adversity, it is easy to think of 2021 as a blank slate and fresh start, when in reality, it is anything but that. The start of a new year is not a silver bullet that will ease the challenges of the year prior, but it is a great opportunity to reflect on lessons learned throughout the past 12 months and re-visit strategic goals.
In my opinion, the most important lesson we’ve learned as an industry over the past year is that those who are willing to adapt can not only survive but also thrive, as illustrated in the results of WQP’s 2020 State of the Industry report as well as by industry experts cited there. So as we move ever closer toward the new year, take time to consider how the obstacles of the past year can continue to inform your business’ evolution.
On the subject of evolution, I’d be remise not to mention a key driver of those changes—our young professionals and industry icons alike. On the forefront of the industry’s continued growth will be the young professionals ready to look with fresh eyes at existing problems and the industry icons who have been working to shape change for years prior. WQP is looking to highlight these voices in our annual Faces of the Industry issue, so please submit nominations by Jan. 1, 2021. You can nominate yourself or a peer for recognition at wqpmag.com/nominations.