What to expect from 2021
Interview by Sérgio frias
Most of us, around mid last year, expected that by 2021 the worst would be behind us. Hopes that the pandemic would slow down, the economy would speed up and life would stabilize on whatever the “new normal” would become.
However, the challenge continues. We still do not know what the “new normal” will be and we barely know when it is going to be. Uncertainty is the name of the game.
Businesses are struggling, people are working remotely, getting a job and trying to stay afloat is difficult in this ocean of question marks.
Sounds pretty sad, doesn’t it?
Well, it is sad indeed, but, how sad, will depend on the perspective that we choose to use to analyze all that is going on.
I’ve been hearing lately a lot of people saying “If not for 2020, I would not be where I am now…”; but not in a sad way. I hear more and more people talking about the way they reinvented themselves, how they pivoted their businesses, how they changed their priorities and made choices they would have never made, if not for this shock we are living these days.
What we are going through is actually a test. It is the go/no-go for many businesses, concepts and people. It came to teach us a lesson and to make us learn, the hard way, how to be always prepared to the turbulences on our journeys. It came to make us stronger.
By reading the book “Stronger through Adversity” by a colleague and best-selling author, Joseph Michelli, it made me think that indeed, these hard times will make us stronger if we Set the Foundations right (value what really matters), Build Connections (choose wisely who you can help and who can help you), Move with Purpose (be a leader, change the culture to embrace change), Harness Change (pivoting with urgency, streamlining life, deciding with moral courage and fostering collaboration) and Forging the Future (reenergizing and running towards the future leaving a legacy behind).
Crisis is humbling, none of the great leaders of the modern world have all the answers, and actually, they barely had any.
What will matter going forward is to focus on the opportunities that these times will bring, but our job is not to simply sit and wait for the opportunities to land in our laps. It is imperative that we refocus our efforts and find out what will be the best way to add value in the new environment. How can we contribute for the balance of the new societies, thinking how we can influence the creation of better times ahead for us all.
At FCBB, we are more ready than ever. With a strong team, with over 85 capable and energized volunteers, in various regions in Brazil and Canada, we will help the small and medium size organizations, particularly the Startups and Entrepreneurs, in both countries, to find opportunities to create solutions to solve our new problems across the borders.
We know the survival mode will make us swim against the tide, as many countries and companies will try to simplify their supply chains, trying to buy local to improve the pace of recovery of the local economies, but we will continue to insist that the bilateral trade will continue to be the best way to open markets and business opportunities for the economies, that are more global than ever, to make thrive and benefit the society as a whole.
So, the question remains. What to expect from 2021? I expect it to be a year of discovery, a year of creativity, a year of collaboration, a year of cautious recovery. It will not be an easy year, but it will be a year where we all will have better tools to revert the situation.
Now, that the panic and the apathy, resulting from the shock of knowing that there is so much we do not control, is giving room for a more creative collaboration, we will see new business models coming up and new forms of contribution materializing.
I see 2021 as a year with less focus on competition and more on finding ways to benefit us all.
Regardless of what is coming, FCBB will be here to help, the way we can, with the construction of opportunities and bringing Brazil and Canada closer together, through our relationships and partnerships.
Let us know what we can do to help and enjoy this period of recovery.