The last two weeks. Just. Wow.
If ever there was a time that defined the meaning of "Thinking Differently" this is it. My team came into the year full of excitement and optimism to see the results of so much groundwork laid in 2019, only to see the promise evaporate in a matter of days as events unfolded. We were suddenly thrust into a mode of pivoting and pivoting again and pivoting yet again in order to support each other, our members, the industry, and our business.
Like me, I am sure all of you have experienced a whiplash of emotions, including fear, depression, anger, determination, optimism, gratitude, and a sudden appreciation for really small wins.
We are in a period of constant ambiguity, and this requires a special kind of fortitude.
These are the moments when true team trust pays off. You know how everyone rolls their eyes at the strategic planning offsite when the facilitator wants you to share something personal… or do the dreaded trust fall? This is why those exercises were so important. Without trust you have disfunction, and disfunction will destroy a company in a time of crisis.
I am grateful to the iA team for the way they’ve all risen to the occasion. I also want to express my gratitude to the members of our Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) and Innovation Council. Remember all those ice-breaker activities we’ve done at our meetings over the years? Here’s the payoff. One of our core beliefs is that communities can solve problems together. We have been privileged to provide a forum for true candor and collaboration, especially during this time of crisis.
Here are some of the pivots we've made in the last two weeks:
- Katie Neill, our General Counsel and Editor, has been covering the daily Covid-19 developments in our news, including our signature iA Perspective.
- Mike Bevel, our Director of Education, has been responding daily to Research Assistant member questions and hosting working groups to support members in sharing resources and advice as they try to keep up with the moving train of information.
- Our team has published a Covid-19 Resources page where you can find all of our related news, as well as state and federal notices, resources for small business, technology solutions specific to the crisis (like solutions that support work-from-home), and more.
- We have hosted twice-weekly Zoom conferences for CRC and Innovation Council members to collaborate and share facts, interpretations, and policies.
- We are modifying our content to support what’s urgent today, but also what you will need tomorrow to support the recovery that will follow this crisis.
- Amy Perkins, our President (and a former head of collections strategy for a major bank), has re-envisioned our June Strategy & Tech conference as a virtual event.
- We were one of the first organizations to cancel our upcoming live conferences and reconstitute them as virtual events, putting health and safety first. We recognize that this changes the calculus for many of you. It does for us too. What we also think is that a virtual platform provides many who would never have the budget or time to travel to a live conference with the chance to benefit from the incredibly substantive content that is the iA hallmark. We hope you’ll support this carefully planned experiment.
I know how many of you feel. iA is a small business.
We too have seen our anticipated revenue for 2020 take a nose-dive. It’s scary. But we are going to keep our heads up, stay nimble, continue doing what we can each day, make contingency plans where possible, and focus on the future by pushing ourselves to keep thinking differently.
CEO, insideARM and The iA Institute