Hope for the best, be prepared for something else: here’s 2021!

Foto del autor

By Natalie Golffed

January 15, 2021


It represents, to some, a year where we’ll go back to hugging, to sharing, and to being together. To others, it’s no different than the 365 days we have just left behind. To me, personally, it’s a mixture of both. I want to be as hopeful as the first group, but feel like our guard should stay up just like the second one. I believe we should hope for the best, but be ready for things to be less than ideal.

This brings me to my main question.

How to plan for a year where (hopefully!) the black swan is already in place, and the possibilities and outcomes are starting to look up?

I’ve come up with some ideas that you might find useful when reflecting and planning for 2021. Here we go:

  • Wiggle room. Yes, planning is important. It forces us to set our goals for the year ahead and gives us a sense of how to achieve them. But we have to accept the fact that not everything is up to us: sometimes reality surprises us. So, plan ahead, but make sure there is some wiggle room in your plans, both time-wise and budget-wise.
  • Be optimistic, but cautious. Our predictions and expected results should be looked at with a conservative lens. Some sectors of the economy might have grown during the pandemic, but it doesn’t mean that all trends from 2020 will hold. Plan a conservative result and if reality turns out to be different and more benevolent, be pleasantly surprised (which in my opinion is the best kind of surprised). Be very aware of possible business opportunities around you.
  • Be prepared to adjust your planning. Follow the news and the way they develop and pay special attention to news in your field and in the field of your customers.
  • Also, be prepared to adjust your execution. This is, I think, extremely relevant today. When 2020 started, I bet most people believed they would carry on conducting business as usual. But reality made them modify this right away if they wanted to survive. So instead of queuing up at the store, they changed the way they operated and started delivering. Instead of having meetings, they started focusing on assessing the performance of their people according to the goals they met. Instead of rigidity and inflexibility, most businesses became more adaptive and flowed with their customers.

I believe this last point is crucial. Adjusting your execution to fit not only a reality but also your customers is what makes a difference at the end of the day. That is what digital transformation is all about: making it simpler for your customers, whether that may be home delivering, video conferencing, or whatever else 2021 might surprise us with.

We at Arion are ready to make the most of this year that has just begun. We wish you a healthy and prosperous 2021!