Diligence - def.: steady, earnest, and energetic effort; devoted and painstaking work and application to accomplish an undertaking.
Determination - def: firmness of purpose; resoluteness; the process of establishing something exactly by calculation or research.
I was searching for a word or two that would best describe what I have been observing over the last year of the pandemic as to what has been required of business owners. The two inaccuracies in these definitions are that there has been nothing that could be described as steady, exact, or consistent over the last year and there has not been the opportunity for a single undertaking. At times operating a business has felt like the wild, wild west one minute and other times like attempting to trudge through quicksand the next. It has been a very challenging year plus now. If there is a second word – it would be determination. Owners do not have the option to just give up, unless that is their sole intent and we’ve seen plenty of those outcomes.
At the same time, success has been achieved by those willing to make the effort, adapt continually as needed, and apply themselves to accomplishment in a fast changing world. That has not stopped as I heard earlier today about supply chain problems in 2021 related to vaccines that continue to require adaptation on the fly in order for accomplishment. I would have thought of diligence being focused on that single undertaking – per the definition. But diligence 2021 requires even greater effort and a continual need to adapt and innovate while achieving the desired results. At the same time, a determination to succeed with whatever twist is thrown at us on the fly.
The examples have been fantastic to watch where people I would have considered to be highly resistant to change by nature have completely upset their business models in order to adapt to their new normal. That new normal has yet to be defined – so expect the need for even further adaptation. But, I have seen examples where the focus on excellence has not been compromised, only the current plan or target has moved. I expect the new normal to not even come close to being defined for at least the next six months and frankly will remain pliable for another year after that.
A constant in the future will continue to be the need for both diligence and determination on the part of business owners in order to survive. These words will both require additional definition away from the finite and include application in non finite instances. Priorities will be constantly changing as the new normal is defined. And, some people will continue to be the dinosaurs resistant to change and they will disappear.