What 2020 has taught us and what we learned
I wrote this article for an important client of mine, the Italian-Azero Sinalco Group. I designed a corporate image and created the website, the contents, and updates of which I manage together with my team. I also want to republish the article on my blog.
It is undoubtedly reasonable to believe that 2020 won’t be forgotten soon. For good or wrong, this was a very unusual year, and some of us never imagined to be living through some months that looked almost surreal.
2020 has changed the world forever, and some of us dare to say for good.
World leaders, business owners, employees, and common people all had to rethink and reimagine their lives. People around the world from different countries were also forced to reshape some crucial aspects of their culture.
The transformation was one of the most emphasized cultural keywords of 2020.
We may not investigate here what caused all this and triggered this transformation, as there are still so many unanswered questions left open and opinions are endless, as is the combination of thoughts and feelings of humanity about this subject.
Steve Jobs used to say that you cannot connect the dots in the present moment, but you can only do it afterward.
So it seems we may need to wait a few years to find out what truly the truth is.
For now, let’s analyze some major changes that, despite some difficulties, have propelled the world more into the digital era than ever before.
1. Remote work or smart working has become a thing of the present, and many companies have already had the good intuition that this can significantly enhance productivity while reducing costs.
It has been studied and proved that people who choose to work from home tend to perform better than their colleagues at the office, and many distractions are automatically eliminated while the person tends in most cases to assume more responsibility and get the job done faster.
2. It has become a common belief that we as humans must not take too much liberty with nature and that altering in some way the equilibrium of things is dangerous. After some time of disrespectful behavior toward the planet, we were told by nature to stay in our place and stop pretending we are in control of everything. The planet can look after itself, and this was proved once extreme production, road and air traffic resulting in high environmental pollution were put on hold. In a short time, the environment was able to self-cleanse itself, and we could see a clear sky in most of our large cities again.
3. The rise of digital tools that helped us to stay connected even if we could not connect face by face for some time has taught us that we could save time and meet people and business partners only when it is absolutely necessary (saved, of course, all the occasions of sociality and recreation with friends and families).
It does not make sense in 90% of the cases to take a plane and travel somewhere for a meeting that you can do from your office through a screen unless the subject is so relevant that you need to get there in person.
4. We are now ready for more agile business culture. Most businesses realized that challenging times could be an advantage, and more resourcefulness can be unleashed to do things better than before. Staying flexible and think in a flexible way has ridden the business world from that immovable gravitas that companies reaching a certain level of success were holding in from of them as a trophy of achievement. These are the same companies that didn’t realize that feeling too comfortable was putting a break to further expansion and exploration of new possibilities.
5. People started to appreciate their health better and stop giving it for granted. A better idea of personal hygiene has now spread around the world (hopefully), and people started to understand that it is no longer important how many years you can live without connecting the length of your life to a quality lifestyle and to disease prevention.
6. We started to like innovation and include it in our lives and businesses. Thinking out of the box is the new cool, and as everyone was forced to reshape their existence, most people thought this was wise.
A business that brings value to the community will prosper as they are driven by a sincere desire to innovate and make things better for their customers and their market sector. On the other hand, businesses not willing to reconfigure and offer added value will collapse and cease to exist, and this could be sad, but it is absolutely in line with evolution.
By encouraging innovation, governments and businesses are paving the way to a new sense of life and adaptability that is making us all stronger and more mentally sharp for things to come.
7. The value of relations with other people has been reaffirmed as an important value in our societies. Some say that in order to have an appreciation for something, you may need to experience some scarcity regarding that good or situation.
2020 helped us to value human interaction again and taught us to focus on true relationships and what really counts for each of us individually.
A greater sense of community together with higher importance on trust has become a key element in every area of existence, and a new optimism is starting to grow out of the immature and primitive fear of each other humans kept for so long in the back of their minds.
2020 was devastating for some and was also a gold mine for others. Everything, however, comes as teaching, and once you learn something, as we humans have witnessed through history, you can only evolve and become a bit better than before.
Are we then more evolved? Possibly yes. Are we reaching perfection through new behaviors and a renewed sense of humanity? Absolutely not, and we are still far from reaching the human potential we are born for.
We will, however, or the part of us that can embrace change as something valuable, keep moving in the right direction, expand our consciousness, and use our creativity to make the world a better place for all.