As we bring down the curtain on the tumultuous 2020, I indulged myself in some retrospection and decided to jot down the things that, in my opinion, helped us pull through:
No one escapes the initial panic, and neither did we. But, moving beyond that phase quickly helped. Uncertainty surrounding customer engagements, employee safety, inflight projects, and execution did not frazzle us. We took solace in data. It grounded us in reality rather than in emotions. We all came to understand and appreciate the fact that we can only ‘Control the Controllable.’
The fundamentals do not change and it is always a great comfort to get back to them. But, it was easier said than done. We gravitated towards our long-held tenet of ‘Doing what is right for Employees and Customers’.
We focused on Employee safety and support to help them work effectively. We closed our offices earlier than mandated by the local laws and provisioned laptops and secure connectivity. Since we have supported employees working remotely (partially or need-based) for many years, it was not a heavy lift for us. For a few international assignments, we had to wait weeks, if not months, to get our resources to travel back home safely.
Ensuring timely delivery of customer projects in flight was of immense importance. As customers assessed and adjusted their priorities based on the impact on their business, we partnered with them every step of the way. They could count on us being flexible in delivery models/ schedules and proactive in mitigating risks.
Finally, we made sure that we continued to execute our long-term strategic initiatives.
In the absence of physical meetings and face-to-face interactions, we communicated more and often internally and externally.
Whether it was direct communication to all customers from our CEO or All Employee meeting, we were transparent and honest about the situation.
We were able to implement faster planning and monitoring tools to improve quality and reliable project delivery.
Without an aligned team working in unison, none of the above would have helped or mattered.
The new year, 2021, brings us all new hope. We look forward to building upon the resilience that we have forged within the organization. It won’t be the last of the challenges. We will face new ones, but whenever we do, I know I will come back to this post and get the comfort that ‘We can get through it.’