What Does Your Future Look Like?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
We intellectually know the future will be different from the past. However, we often struggle with just how different it will be – and what we need to do to prepare for it. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many change trends. As leaders, we need to begin to sit with our teams and map out our futures and consider just how much has changed and will continue to change going forward. Our success depends on creating organizations and individuals who can thrive in the future – not in the past.
Leaders cannot take their teams to the future by staring in the rearview mirror. The past can become mesmerizing. Why? Because it worked so well for us; we naturally want to stay in that place. We made profits, people excelled, and our lives seemed stable. COVID changed all of that. We had the twin challenges of a global pandemic and an economic downturn. It was a massive disruption to everyone’s lives. It’s time to assess what we must do now to serve our customers, our team, and the community around us. We can then adjust our plans and actions to thrive in the world we now live in versus the one we have just left. I know it is my task to help MACNY and its team thrive—and also to help our members do the same. Change is faster than ever. Are you ready for your future?
This week at MACNY, we sat down as a team to discuss our future. This gave us an opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the last year and discuss what would be next. So much has changed for both our members and us since the onset of COVID-19 and the economic downturn. There is a lot to consider as we move into the future; New challenges and opportunities, old challenges and familiar constraints, and new landscapes. Through it all, we must work together to identify what we had learned, how we’ve thrived, and what comes next. Putting in the work is well worth the time spent. It’s always good to consider what the future holds. The process, and not the plan, is what is valuable. It demonstrates to everyone that we expect to prepare for and address all that lies ahead.
Begin now to assess your future and the future of your organization. Ask yourself the hard questions. What did you learn this last year? What worked and what did not work? What would you have done differently, and what is the best course of action moving forward? What can you celebrate? Is it time for team members to get some time off or rest? How will the team pivot toward its best opportunities in the future? These (and many more) questions can frame conversations needed to best prepare for your future. Don’t delay in considering it.
In the end, you will be glad you went through the process. It can be scary to do it. You can be hopeful and committed to overcoming any fear that it brings. As you begin, acknowledge the sacrifice and the success that you and your team have come through the past year. This will prepare you for creating a future that you can be excited about.