Last month it was a labor shortage driven by unemployment benefits (depending on who you ask). This month new hiring is beating Labor Department expectations. We’re either on the verge of an inflation-hobbled recovery, or a V-shaped one fueled by pent-up demand. Bitcoin-hungry hackers are driving up gas prices, and nobody knows what is actually going on with the cost of lumber.
Financial markets, supply chains, real estate – every sector of the global economy is in the process of sorting out the “new normal” we’ve been hearing about for over a year. The churn and contradictory signals in the economy, coupled with similar uncertainty in social, political and geostrategic domains are a source of anxiety and burnout for many. The coming months will continue to be a time of unprecedented change. How can you prepare for what is coming next?
The short answer is that you can never fully prepare. The changes we are experiencing are much bigger than the pandemic, and will take years to settle into a new equilibrium. Additionally, the flow of information and rate of change is so rapid that by the time you identify a trend and re-train for the specific skill set to take advantage of it, the window of opportunity has closed. You need to get ahead of the curve. Now is the time to focus on meta-skills: flexibility, resilience, empathy, and critical thinking. The ability to collaborate and build consensus while staying nimble and quickly adapting to changing circumstances will be critical to surviving and thriving. Equally important is the need to be clear on your intention for your future, and remain focused on it regardless of the constant, contradictory stream of information bombarding you on any given day.
Over the past year, those who were willing to take risks and innovate tended to be rewarded. In our experience with the Taylor Group’s clients, companies that acted decisively to alter their business models or made strategic investments from a clear vision for the future are now better positioned to take advantage of the post-pandemic landscape than those that hunkered down and tried to simply ride out the storm, hoping for the status quo to resume. The latter half of 2021 will be an ideal time to continue asking: What do I really want for myself and my business, and how can I inspire others to pursue that with me?
For all of the above reasons, investing in people development will be essential. Leaders will need the ability to clearly articulate an inspiring future, and the awareness to recognize when a possible pathway to that future opens up. For your teams, professional development not only builds meta skills but provides a huge value to your people, building loyalty and employee longevity. Even in good times, employee turnover is an anchor on profitability and growth potential. Don’t let your business become a casualty of The Great Resignation. The Taylor Group’s coaching and course work can be a great partner in supporting happy and fulfilled employees bringing their highest contribution to your company. Our executive coaching and leadership development can help at the individual level as well. We may not be able to predict the future, but we can strengthen the meta skills to navigate the future as it unfolds.