People, Impact, & Interconnection.
If history has taught us anything, much of what happens is beyond our control, except our response to what happens.
No one can predict the future. However, we can learn from recent history and apply it today so we can be more contextually conscious of what is. This awareness can give some indications of what may be coming.
2022 was a year of Resilience. Many people believed that after COVID, we would all go back to the office and back to the relative ease and comfort of life before. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and we had to adapt.
Thanks to our resiliency, we’ve emerged stronger, more grounded, humble, and with a quiet confidence. We’ll need to keep practicing that resilience and apply it persistently.
Remembering what got you here matters, but as Marshall Goldsmith says, “What got you here won’t get you there.” So, as I look at the year ahead, I see that leaders will need to double down on caring for people, commit to living their values, and focus on creating impact. These will be the things that matter most in 2023. All of this adds up to Persistence.
Here’s what I see ahead:
- Going Beyond Purpose. Brands that jumped on the purpose bandwagon without committing to outcomes rose significantly in 2022. And customers (B2C or B2B) weren’t buying it, and they’ll have even less tolerance for it in 2023. In a society beyond purpose lies people and companies committed to impact. Therefore “impact statements” will be on the rise, and purpose-washing will be on the decline.
- Becoming Evermore Ourselves. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will continue to rise as a central need. This includes gender identities, racism, sexism, ageism, economic gaps, pay equity gaps, and other society-ism. 2022 showed us more claiming and accepting of personal identity, which will continue in 2023. The need for conscious attention and seeing the uniqueness in individuals will be more vital than ever.
- The Great Divide Will Continue. Our societal polarization continues to be unaddressed. This fissure will not heal itself, and strong leaders who can bridge this divide are needed more than ever. Society and business leaders who can hold a strong center of presence and bridge great divides are needed more than ever. I hope that’s you.
- Trusted Brands Will Matter More Than Ever. We’ve seen how easily and quickly a trusted brand can fall from public grace. THINK: Twitter, Meta, Wells Fargo, Southwest Airlines, Fox Corporation, Trump Corp., FTX. Trust will continue to be the currency all businesses deal in. Converse to these companies, brands that have continued to live their values and invest in them (and their people) rose in consumer trust. Patagonia, Trader Joe’s, Google, CVS, and UPS are just a few companies that gained the most trust in 2022. The remedy is to earn and maintain trust by committing to living your values (hopefully, you and your team know your values and how to live them).
- Power OF the People. Quiet quitting, the Great Resignation, and strikes significantly impacted businesses in 2022. This demonstrates the ever-growing power of large groups of people to make change. Business leaders who understand this shift in power differential will make thoughtful and strategic decisions about how they care for their people. The more leaders invest in being a people-first organization, the more they’ll thrive internally and be trusted externally.
- Our Interconnectedness Will Shine. Our world is more interconnected than ever, which will continue to affect us all. We live now in a bottom-up society. The mycelium of our society, thanks in part to technology, connects us all instantly. Quiet groundswells turn into giant tsunamis. A humble activist can take down a bravado criminal in three tweets. Large amounts of people can move together over time to topple big businesses and billionaires whom people have earned distrust. Your people make or keep your company strong, so treat them with the humanity they deserve.
It seems that we’re now Post-Pandemic, but we haven’t fully landed in a new reality. If there is a new reality emerging, I believe it’s centered on our interconnections, about making impact, and caring for our fellow humans along the way.
If 2022 was about Resilience, 2023 will be about Persistence.
If you want a more trusting team, a culture of belonging or a magnetic brand that attracts more of the right customers, I can help. If you'd like to explore if working together makes sense, drop me a line.