Our Principals and Advisors join our families, friends, clients and fellow citizens in our hope for an imminent emergence from this tragic pandemic and an eventual healing of the scars it will leave behind. It is critically important business carries on and addresses the challenges and opportunities that 2020 has left behind.
In spite of the pandemic, there have been moments of reflection, connectivity, stillness and gratitude in 2020. Some members of our team have shared their reflections on the past year and wishes for the year to come.
On behalf of Osborne Interim Management, we would like to wish you much health, optimism and peace!
Wishes for 2021 to our friends, colleagues and clients this year could not be any more sombre in what is a year of challenges we never imagined when we welcomed in 2020. Suffice it to say, we must acknowledge just how monumental those challenges have been.
There are so many that have faced, in all likelihood, the most trying period in their lives and sadly that includes children and adults alike, so before any New Year’s well wishes can be extended I want to recognize incredible people and offer my most sincere condolences to regrettably far too many.
Our front line workers, regardless of the jobs they do the reality is those services we could not do without the selflessness displayed every day is the perfect example of humanity at it’s best. These are our true hero’s and you have our unending gratitude.
Many have either lost their jobs or know far too many that have, businesses struggle to exist and scramble to reinvent themselves or just hang on in the desperate belief that 2021 will see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. To those of you who have lost someone special in your life expressing condolences I’m sure does not begin to ease the pain and the emptiness this brings as 2020 ends it’s horrible reign.
What we all wish for in 2021 has a far more poignant meaning than any I can recall. Sure, we all wish for a vaccine and a vastly improved economy but also the healing of our social fabric. I wish for a positive outlook and the benefits that come from meaningful interactions of friends and families.
I came of out of a best-year-yet-2019 with such momentum, excited to see what new adventures and accomplishments 2020 would present. However, COVID-19 stealthy swooped in and had other plans, not just for me, but for all of humanity. While it could have been easy to get wrapped up in the fear, negativity and overwhelming uncertainty, I had to rally, seek out the positive and continue to practice gratitude; afterall, I have two young daughters’ mental, physical and emotional health to protect and nurture. I am grateful we have fared the pandemic well; the strength, resiliency, patience, understanding and adherence my girls have shown has been impressive and inspiring.
Also inspiring are the many businesses, particularly the small and medium-sized ones, who pivoted out of necessity to change their operations or provide new products or services; I am amazed at their ability to adapt and the creativity some of them have shown. Even more impressive are those brave entrepreneurs who have launched a business during this time. SMEs fuel our economy and are the promise of a diversified and prosperous economy on the other side of this pandemic. My hope for the business community is a rejuvenation of our can-do, entrepreneurial spirit that we, especially in Alberta, are known for.
As for more self-indulgent wishes, I hope it won’t be too long before my children can once again be carefree and social – me too actually! I also hope that everyone – young and old – will continue to connect, appreciate the little things, and get that moments and experiences are what matter most. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life can change on a dime, so be present, be happy and live your most authentic life now!
As we prepare to start another time around the sun, we are reminded to count our many blessings. And they are numerous. We’ve caught up with old friends using technologies that we never would have envisioned for that purpose. We have many dedicated and capable professionals in the medical community working to help keep us safe and find a way through the challenges of the last year. We have watched communities reach out and help each other. We witness millions of front-line workers trying so very hard to help us stay safe and nourished. I am blessed to know the warmth of family and it strengthens my resolve to stay healthy.
We want to wish all of our friends, colleagues and clients – past, current and future – the blessings of this magical season. We hope this upcoming year will give you opportunity so you can again be reminded how lucky we have all been. The not-for-profit sector will be uniquely challenged in 2021. It will happen in ways that most organizations have never experienced before. The work of not-for-profits must still remain a priority for all of us, even as these organizations need to continue pivoting in the ways they look at program delivery, the ways they develop as organizations, and the ways they draw upon the time and treasure of grateful communities. We wish them success in all they do and will continue to be there with help as it is required. May 2021 be the watershed moment for many future successes.
Fortunately agriculture wasn’t hit as hard as many sectors in 2020. Farmers still planted, protected and harvested a crop, and crop plans for 2021 are being made as I write. But adjustments were made. Safety precautions to mitigate exposure and risk were established. A role that is often already geographically more self isolated than most, became more so. This isolation itself can be a challenge for many producers. The isolation, along with numerous stresses caused by lack of control over weather and markets…and now Covid, can take their toll. Farms, processors and others in the agriculture sector, like those in others, are complex businesses requiring a growing list of skills.
I continue to admire how farmers, and all managers in the ag sector adapt, and increasingly reach out for help from others with the required experience and skills. I sincerely believe 2021 will see not only recovery, but growth opportunities, especially for those who took 2020 to adjust their capabilities demanded by the pandemic. Although happy to be back to B2B (belly to belly) interactions, they’ll be more efficient by supplementing them with virtual contacts. Their reach to a more diverse and geographically spread group of advisors will pay dividends.
It’ll be more common than ever to move from a discussion in a supplier’s office, to a zoom meeting with a counterpart in Europe or Asia from the trunk of your truck in a supplier’s parking lot, to a negotiation with a financial institute over the hood of a truck, or again on a virtual platform. The world will have become smaller, and we’ll realize the silver lining in the challenges of 2020. We have become more resilient with a broader set of tools, skills and experiences.
Happy holidays and have a fantastic New Year, even if with a smaller crowd than you had planned.
Having worked extensively in the not-for-profit sector my thoughts turn to an enhanced level of affordable training and development of Board members and chairs. The Province has offered a program in the past, but it is outdated and lacking relevance to real world, relevant issues that directors face in bringing value. Why is this so important now? There is a growing chasm between administration and boards creating more turnover and impacting client service. As the gap in communication and collaboration grows so does organizational ineffectiveness and liability. Bullying, harassment, malfeasance are all ugly viruses that can take hold when disconnects in governance create vulnerabilities in the very fabric of the entity. Directors blame administration for ignoring policy and straying from mission while admin point fingers at the board for not being understanding and supportive. The relationship between the Chair and the Executive Director is critical in this context. The Chair must walk a fine line in managing the employer-employee relationship as a member of the executive committee versus becoming a personal confidant of the ED. Funding will continue to be a challenge this year resulting in the ED needing to take on staff responsibilities they don’t have the experience for nor the budget to be able to outsource. Boards need to examine how more shared services and program delivery partnerships can reduce the strain on management and by extension the working relationship.
Christmas is a time of hope and in spite of all that 2020 threw at us, there is still hope to look forward to. At year end, what I will take away is the resourcefulness and resilience of so many, in spite of the many challenges. Many of those that have been least impacted by the year past have also stepped up to help those that are less fortunate. Focusing on the positive aspects of our family and friends, what lies ahead in the coming year and our own health and well-being will ensure that we come through this current challenge successfully. If there is anything we can learn from all of this, it is to prioritize what is really important. I wish all of my friends, colleagues and clients all the very best in 2021.
2020 – we will never forget you – ever! You will rival 1918, 1929 and 1939 and some other notables in the 20th Century many of us learned about in history class. You will be the first notable year of the new millennium, for all the wrong reasons, unfortunately. I personally, look forward to seeing you in the rear-view mirror and looking forward to repairing your damage. We have much to look forward to…gatherings with family that number more than just immediate members, not having to wait to go into a store, having to pick-up food from fine dining establishments as opposed to sitting down in proper fashion. These are the little things we will soon forget when we resume, hopefully, the new normal.
I hope and pray that the non-profit sector can survive this year, but perhaps with less organizations on their own and potentially combined into stronger and more resilient operating machines that serve our community for a very long time. I also hope that Calgary will attract new jobs and re-build the network of caring companies that take care of their community, in so many ways. A vibrant downtown with hustle and bustle, and great projects being proposed and approved by a stream-lined City Hall. It would be outstanding to see our Provincial leaders invest in the Film and New Media industries that will attract production teams to use our beautiful landscapes and our brightest minds in providing entertainment to the world. I find it ironic that PEI has better incentives to produce films than Alberta – really? Lots of film work will drive tourism and create jobs – the State of Georgia and the City of New Orleans (post-Katrina) have both benefited hugely from this approach to expanding their economies. Our transition as a Province to new industries is key as our natural resources must now come from above ground and not from below.
Here is to wishing, hoping, praying and any other methodology to help invoke change, will come in 2021 and a new tide will rush in and raise all ships.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I sincerely hope that the occasion of Christmas will be that much more special this year as we all appreciate what life is and has to offer in this extraordinary 2020. I encourage everyone to pause and think in the glow of the increasing number of Christmas lights this year as to how, if you are able to, make a positive difference in people’s lives and shine a little brightness and kindness to our precious world.
I personally find myself fortunate to be able to engage with great clients to help them fulfill their vision and mission. Additionally, grounding myself by giving back to the community my time and talent in local and national not-for-profit board work. I look forward to the time soon when we can all really see love ones and friends (not virtually via Zoom) without provincial health order restrictions and be able to tightly hug others.
I wish you and your love ones good health during this holiday season and always and an infinitely more prosperous, safer and happier new year.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…” ~ Charles Dickens
As I reflect on the year, this quote sprang to mind… It echoed for me how the same moment can hold more than one truth – and 2020 has certainly been a year to that proof! Globally, we shared an experience like no other in our lifetimes, and through it have learned about ourselves, our community, and our world. I have appreciated the incentive to look on our world with a renewed sense of gratitude and hope. And 2021 lies ahead, poised and ready to capture all those promises we’ve made to ourselves and those around us when the world was offering less choice. I commit to be true to my whispered promises to myself, and certainly celebrate those around me who also emerge energized and renewed, and in doing so, will inspire me further.
To Osborne, our clients and our community – I am so delighted to have joined this team of smart, caring, committed professionals, and look forward to the year ahead!
I wanted to wish you all a great new year, and I am hopeful it will indeed be a great year!
Twenty-twenty showed us how strong we are, how merciful we should be for what we have, how kind we are to each other and much more. We also learned to be resilient, more caring , loving and thoughtful.
With all the experiences of this past year, 2021 will be a year full of successes, new achievements, and more importantly, full of love, joy and happiness. We will build an even greater city and we never forget we are all in this together now and forever!