I had been looking forward to 2020 for probably at least the last 18-months, around the same amount of time that people had been asking me, ‘are you going to rebrand in 2020?’, ‘will you continue to work post 2020?, ‘when you named your company was it about the year?’ The questions surprised me, amused me and enthused me.
In 2020, we were turning 15 years old, it was going to be our year to really celebrate our fortuitous brand (because in 2005 I can assure you, 2020 felt like 100 years away, not 15!). But instead the global pandemic has decided to claim 2020 and any celebration we may have planned has fallen by the wayside – no one would have been allowed to come anyway!!
So now, I sit in isolation and reflect on the past 15 years and want to really understand how I feel right now. Expected words come to mind – proud, surprised, happy, tired, frustrated, lucky …. And then these feelings …. Blessed, grateful, joyous, curious and hopeful.
The learnings, the laughter and the tears have been constant over the past 15 years; navigating the ups and downs of the economy, traveling interstate for work way too much and feeling the guilt of being away from my kids, employing great people and some not so great people, the slow exit of my other founding directors none more painful and sad than when Vicki Daniel hung up her boots with Change2020 – it felt like we were getting divorced L, the exhilaration of winning new clients and the frustration of people never even replying to a proposal when you have poured your heart and soul and many hours into its’ development, but mostly it is the personal transformation one goes through when leading a small business.
The nuances of leading a small business with the team largely remote (always, not just due to the global pandemic) is different from being an employee and leading small to medium or even large organisation. My small business, Change2020 has changed so much over the past 15 years. We have evolved from a mindset of winning work and billing for it to very much building long-term partnerships with clients who trust us and seek our counsel to support them as they lead themselves and their people through significant change. We do not ‘do’ change, rather we have the conversations, challenge the thinking, inspire a sense of curiosity and provide authentic support and guidance for leaders to enable them to be the leaders of change.
As I write this, I am humbled by the fact that we have active projects with two clients, the leaders whom I have known for 20+ years and have continued to trust me and the Change2020 team as they have traversed their careers. We have an extraordinary referral business and while many marketers have told me this is not ideal for growth; it feels pretty good to me. I know I only refer people to a service, a restaurant, an experience if I know firsthand that it was fabulous; so to me, a referral is gold!
Thanks to everyone who has trusted Change2020 over the past 15 years, our wonderful clients and those who have morphed into friends, thanks to my original founders – Nick Lalic, Mark Shroffel and Vicki Daniel and to our first employee Renee Morgan. Thank you to our current team, smaller due to COVID-19, but a long way from being out – Maree Gardner, Kellie Pamic and Brad Bevan, also to our wonderful associates who have continued to build our remarkable reputation by going above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction.
Our name Change2020 was based on looking forward, having ‘2020’ vision, focusing on the possibilities and while 2020 has been different to what we thought it would be, more than ever we need to be looking forward and for the Change2020 team that means:
- Continuing our research partnership with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to better understand the mindsets, habits and behaviours of those who can readily adapt to ambiguity and uncertainty
- Supporting our clients as they embark on the next-normal and transition, in some capacity, back to workplaces
- Building our People2020 Associates – placing our great change people into businesses to support their change and transformation efforts
- Embracing 2020 and all that it has to offer, with an eye to the future (always)
~ Kerryn Fewster