We had an in-person team meeting today; one of the largest ones we’ve had in a year and it was so nice to see people in three dimensions! For over a year, we’ve been zooming and teaming, experiencing each other via flat screens. On this day, being in the same room resulted in people being, well…a bit giddy! And for a day, things seemed to be moving back to the way it had been. We talked about a full company outing and more face-to-face collaboration time.

Then the news hit…new variants, new CDC guidelines, hospitals overwhelmed. What do we do? How do we decide what to do? I reached for a very one-dimensional tool, our list of core values:

  • Get It Done: We have a job to do and will get it done even as we must deal with change.
  • Respect Everyone: We will listen to people and let them know they are heard and not force anyone to put themselves at risk by requiring people to be in the office.
  • Own the Outcome: We will communicate the expectation that everyone act like an adult and choose to know what they need to do by when.
  • Work Hard Play Hard: We will remind people that our remote working allows us to have more time to do the fun things that are not work-related.
  • Trust and Be Trusted: We strive to have an environment where it is safe to be your authentic self; where it’s ok to fail so that people are encouraged to try new things and share their thoughts, always bringing solutions when they identify a problem.
  • Help Others: We will take time to help people who are less fortunate.

I’m a fan of change (energized by it) and an eternal optimist, so despite the tragedies associated with the pandemic I have found myself energized to problem-solve, to find new and better ways of doing things. We are incredibly fortunate to work in an industry that does not require three-dimensional interaction. We have made going to an office a choice – not a requirement – for the moment. I anticipate that we will have to pivot many times in the next 12-24 months.

The resilient among us will have it the easiest. So how do we build resilience? I believe resilience is a combination of self-awareness, that you know your triggers, and engagement with discomfort. Like building a muscle, building resilience – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or change – requires effort. It requires us to step into discomfort and notice that we came out of it fine, even new and improved.

I worry about the long-term impact of constantly having to deal with change on those who are less resilient and am encouraging people to expand their ability to cope with change with things in their control: how much sleep they get, what they eat and drink, how often they move, journal and interact with people who bring them joy. Those who improve even a small bit each month are going to meet a new and improved self. And I can’t wait to be in a three-dimensional space with them, if even only for a moment.

– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO