As we all can appreciate, 2020 was a different year! While the year’s events and circumstances posed many challenges, looking back the year inspired agility and adaptation for us. Here are some of the things that led to positive changes for us in 2020 and that continue to shape our future directions for 2021.
While the pandemic forced all of us into smaller profession and personal bubbles, this requirement inspired us to innovate. As a result of creatively using our connectivity tools, as an organization we expanded our business focus and we successfully extended our business services internationally with services and a focus in Europe and in Canada.
As a team, the challenges of 2020 led us to quickly adapt to the new situation and shift our team approaches and our work services to embrace on-line teaming platforms and to provide distance-based services such as training, on-line coaching, virtual meeting facilitations for our clients, and other new innovations. As a result of embracing these new technologies, we enabled our team to seamlessly coordinate through global time zones and to be virtually present with clients and groups in many international settings.
Even in the face of a global pandemic, our team grew. We welcomed new members to the team and developed completely new distance-based service models for conflict resolution and ombuds services, and for providing outstanding organizational development support to organizations thousands of miles away.
Despite the challenges of 2020, among many others, this year’s key professional accomplishments include:
- Providing REALTOR® Ombuds training to the New Mexico Realtors Association and to the New Mexico Commercial Realtors Association;
- Continuing our nine year collaboration with the International Foundation for Online Responsibility, where our team provides on-going ombuds services and an annual audit of systems designed to police internet abuses.
- Conducting detailed organizational assessment and providing organizational excellence support to various organizations, including one of Canada’s rapidly growing, premier early learning organizations.
- Providing programming for professional development for women in the workplace.
- Launching a new workplace training program with a compete professional development curriculum for an entire workforce including its leadership team and all workers at every level.
- Providing coaching and counseling to executives and to leaders dealing with workplace conflicts, harassment concerns, and customer relations and workplace policy concerns.
For each of us who work under the BES model, it’s important for us to give back to our community and we donate our time to support our profession and worthy activities. Examples of our volunteer work in 2020 included:
- Continuing voluntary services to the International Ombudsman Association, where Bruce serves on its Board of Directors, and also co-leads the IOA’s initiative to update the organization’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice;
- Serving as the convenor and “conductor” for an initiative in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, to develop standards and practices for community consensus building for developing new county ordinances and land-use requirements;
- Providing mentoring ombuds services to ombuds around the globe, including formally mentoring three emerging ombuds professionals and serving as a “grounding resource” for a number of other ombuds who seek a confidential sounding board to test their assumptions and approaches and to help them feel a sense of support and community;
- Serving on a speaker’s panel for the International Corporate- Sector Ombuds day 2020, which was a virtual event involving a diverse group of corporate ombuds working in the international sector.
Additionally, our team wrote and shared many blog posts and articles in 2020. Among other topics, we shared articles such as:
An Emerging Lesson From 2020:
Online work approaches to helping groups move forward can be slower to take effect than in person approaches, but the individual and group connection that one can build can be surprisingly deep and effective.
A Look Ahead as we move into 2021
Even as circumstances in 2020 infused variables into our work and approaches, it did not dampen our commitment or enthusiasm for helping organizations thrive. For the coming year, we will continue to focus on our clients needs and provide quality and customized services where we add value and help our clients build excellence.
The vagaries of 2020 actually proved the value of our business model as an adaptive, variable and agile team. This year, we provided team services with many different team members and team configurations. We will definitely be carrying this approach forward. As an agile team, we plan to expand our portfolio into exciting and challenging new areas, such as instant an on-demand training.
If you have thoughts, suggestions, or questions we welcome you to reach out to us! If there are topics that you would like to suggest that we address in our blog posts or in our articles, please feel free to suggest them!
Welcome to 2021. May we all prosper!