Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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big idea

2021 is about big ideas, big projects, and big plans.


Here are 21 points on what businesses can expect, what organizations need to embrace, and what business leaders need to do moving forward.

2021 is a year for action, activity, and movement.

Businesses can expect to see:

  1. Continued acceleration of change
  2. Locally sourced resources
  3. A global customer base
  4. Social issues impacting business issues
  5. Increased online delivery options
  6. Services that adapt to the next wave of globalization
  7. A return to focus on revenues and profits

Organizations need to embrace:

  1. Remote work (it’s here to stay!)
  2. Lightening fast changes to technology
  3. Individualized and focused customer service
  4. Diversity of thought
  5. Team-based decisions to provide more perspectives for better outcomes
  6. Hiring talent for potential, instead of an educational background
  7. Marketing that tells a story and engages the buyer

Business leaders need to:

  1. Think about resource allocation as though they are the owners of the company
  2. Show compassion to employees while holding them accountable
  3. Turn uncertainty into action by breaking up large tasks into manageable chunks for their direct reports
  4. Streamline internal processes
  5. Adapt rapidly to the changing needs of their customer demographics
  6. Simplify the buying process for customers and clients
  7. Focus on developing future products and services that enhance the lives of customers and clients

After years of robust economic growth, 2020 shone a spotlight on many businesses. That spotlight made the cracks in foundations painfully visible. Status quo is no longer good enough. Businesses and organizations that will survive are those that adapt, overcome, and improvise.

(Yes, the Heartbreak Ridge reference is intentional.)

Contact Mary if you need help!  

1 Comment

  1. Jeremy Blain

    Great post Mary Kelly, PhD, CSP, CPAE Commander, USN (ret) – I particularly like how you have segmented the Business landscape; organizational shift and business leader imperatives. Makes it clear and on-the-money in terms of painting the current situation and needs. Thanks for sharing!


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