Spring is around the corner, and it could not come fast enough. There is plenty to look forward to, including a much-needed dose of sunshine. Warm weather after months of frigid temperatures and seasonal depression brings a sense of peace and serenity, which is conducive to reflection. Taking the time to evaluate how we have been forced to connect and recognizing this year has changed the trajectory of how people communicate has been an eye-opening experience. With every tragedy, there is an opportunity to grow and learn. I believe we will look back at this past year as a pivotal time that profoundly impacted us all.
Everyone has had to reinvent the way they communicate with their family, friends, clients, and staff in order to maintain some sense of normalcy throughout this pandemic. You may have been forced to work at home in order to keep yourself, your coworkers, or family members safe. It has been most challenging for some of us who are more comfortable working and communicating in person. We have been forced to broaden our horizons and embrace the technology which most of us had no experience using prior to 2020.
So, what have we learned? Although it has been challenging, the consequences of COVID-19 have also created many opportunities which we may have never recognized without being forced in this direction. We have spent a lot of time focusing on how detrimental this virtual environment has been, but instead, let’s look at the opportunities it has created. For example, my daughter is a junior in high school and is taking a screenwriting class this semester. She recently had the incredible opportunity of having a professional Hollywood screenwriter join her class virtually. This is something that has never been possible for the class in years past, and it gave the students a humbling chance to learn directly from an expert in the field. Also, for those of you who attended the ICBA virtual convention, you got the opportunity to listen to Matthew McConaughey discuss how he was able to participate in multiple global interviews in the morning and still be available to have lunch with his kids by 1 pm. What I find interesting is that we have had this ability to connect virtually for a long period of time, but it has never been used on such a widespread basis which accentuates just how lucky we are in this day and age. Since we have been forced to embrace this technology, it has opened up plenty of doors such as these that have allowed us to learn in ways never thought possible.
Like most of you, I am ready to get back together in person, but I do believe I will have more “Zoom” meetings in the future when it is pertinent. I will use this technology to “bring a Hollywood screenwriter to class” when it makes sense and use this platform instead of a conference call. Nothing can replace the in-person meeting, which creates the opportunity to catch a smile or greet someone with a handshake, but using what we have learned to create more opportunities to connect is where the real message lies. Let’s continue to unite in person as much as possible, but never forget the lessons learned. Otherwise, what was the point of our pain? I am really looking forward to seeing each and every one of you in Scottsdale, Arizona, September 16th – 18th. The sun will be shining, and this is one you will not want to miss in-person!!