4 January, 2021 | Category

Whilst 2020 was a pretty crazy year for all of us, we are probably all thankful that we are living in Australia right now (and feeling particularly lucky if you are in WA).

A large percentage of our clients dealt with 2020 well and bounced back hard in the second half of the year.

A number of factors have contributed to this, but there is no doubt that the businesses we have seen do best have focused on 3 core things since COVID 19 hit.

  1. They listened to and got closer to their customers – not physically of course, but in terms of richer conversations and feedback.
  2. They invested in their leaders. The fastest-growing part of the Checkside business this year was Leadership Development and Coaching, reflecting the willingness of great companies to invest in their people to get ahead of their competition.
  3. They were disciplined in terms of strategy execution, accountability and communication rhythms. No surprises here!


The Checkside Journey

In terms of our own learnings at Checkside, we were fortunate to be able to see some of our core strategies from December 2019 play out positively during the intensity of COVID, even though it felt like a real-life science experiment at times.

One of our biggest moves coming into 2020 was to outsource executive search and recruitment and re-focus Checkside on our core consulting and leadership development services. In the process, we provided training and IP to our partners and they have run with this approach when fulfilling our clients’ recruitment needs.

Importantly to us, our recruitment team successfully moved to general management roles with other businesses at the start of the year, leveraging the commercial and leadership skills they learnt with us over many years.

We ‘doubled down’ on conversations with our clients and allied business advisors from January, but doubled down again when COVID hit in March and provided free advice to businesses who were struggling.

The time that we previously went into recruitment projects was redeployed into enhancing the core of our business – strategy execution and leadership development. The reduction in our interstate travel time was also used to speed up the enhancement of our IP bank and platform, which we are now rolling out to clients.

People presentation at Checkside

We dialled up our internal training and coaching plans to make sure our consulting team is all talking the same language. Embracing ‘Teams’ technology, we quickly adapted to running engaging workshops online (both internally and for clients) – and in the process increased the cadence of our training to both speed up learning and increase connectivity between our SA and WA team members.

As we reflect, we recognise that 2020 was actually a pivotal year of change for us.

The strategies we put in place pre-COVID have paid off, but we had to adapt and implement key actions more quickly than planned as the world changed around us.

We couldn’t have done this if we hadn’t re-focused our energy to our core services and the development of our people like we did.


Your Journey?

As you look back on 2020 (and what you were planning leading into the year), what did you learn?

What are the things you know you need to do MORE of as we head into 2021, but also LESS of so you can create the energy and focus to drive your business to the next level?

The key to a fast start in 2021 is to not to get complacent and leave it too late to crystalise your strategic objectives for the new year….

Refresh your strategy and hold your team accountable in 2021

Book a strategy review and execution consultation

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