Leadership

A year for 'Pivoting' not 'Chillaxing'

by Martin Boyd

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What do simples, chillax, and whatevs have in common? They were the new words that were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2019 and expected to be on everyone’s lips in 2020.

Well, that didn’t age well…

Even the very spirit conveyed in these words sticks in our throats. Far too blasé and carefree. This has been a very painful year for so many people. Too many funerals with too few people attending. Too many lay-offs and too few green shoots of recovery. Too much time spent away from school and too few certainties for those leaving school.

So, the trending words for 2020 became ‘pandemic’, ‘furlough’ and ‘unprecedented’. ‘The new norm’ and ‘Zoom meeting’ are never far from our lips. And, sadly, for the Hospitality Sector, we can add words like, ‘painful’, ‘upheaval’, disappointment’.

Is this sounding negative? It’s certainly based on reality and whenever there is uncertainty the inclination to lift our heads and begin to look for solutions can be really challenging. This is when we need each other.

Creativity is difficult when there are difficult days but when we hear about what others are doing it can bring a spark of hope and a chink of light. We may not be able to copy what others are doing in entirety but listening to what is possible and watching how others are pivoting (pivoting = new word no.17) to try and get a foothold in the marketplace, it really does help.

Last word: Hothouse. It was another top trending word of 2019.
Perhaps this one should stay with us for 2020 and beyond. In the past, it exclusively referred to a greenhouse – a glass building designed to help plants grow more quickly. Today, hothouse also describes a place or situation that encourages the rapid development of ideas, emotions and knowledge. University campuses, schools, and social organisations make the perfect hothouse for fresh new ideas!

But it doesn’t need to stop there.

Have you heard any good news stories? Any innovations? Have you made changes (and they may have been forced upon you) but from which you have seen the possibility of better things ahead. We don’t share platters of food at the moment but sharing ideas, plans, products is something we can all benefit from…in these unprecedented days.


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