2022: Not quite the return to ‘normality’ we were expecting
Our CEO Jonathan Knight looks back over another year of unexpected global challenges and new opportunities.
Of course, our lives were never going to be as they had been pre-COVID, for good and bad. For many, flexible working has become the new normal, creating opportunities and challenges for managers and employers. Our dear friend and adviser, Lynda Gratton, has written extensively on the opportunities and challenges of a workplace model where employees can potentially work productively anywhere, anytime.
But the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 killed any hopes of stability and global economic recovery and destroyed global unity.
While COVID was a shared global threat, albeit handled selfishly by many countries, the Russian action created economic and political divisions. The western developed world has been hit by higher energy prices, aggravating a growing inflation problem. The less developed world has been affected even more by higher food prices and grain shortages, whilst oil-producing nations are experiencing a new economic boom.
These differences have impacted our clients and partners around the world.
Whilst our partners in China have struggled with the restrictions and uncertainties of COVID, our clients and partners in the Middle East are wisely investing strongly in improving human capital. The transformation in the Saudi Arabian workplace has been particularly noticeable. In Europe, some clients have been more cautious, faced with economic uncertainty, but even here, we have been delighted to welcome new clients, as well as in North America.
These macro trends have also been reflected in other ways.
Face-to-face learning has returned and with it, the intense team-building experiences that simulations engender. Yet virtual simulation sessions are now firmly established and continue to be highly flexible and effective for people to learn and build connections. Combining both has proved to be a marvellous way of building diverse networks, creating lasting learning journeys, controlling costs, and capturing the excitement of meeting face-to-face.
Our Associate network has grown considerably globally, as virtual facilitation has no boundaries, and local facilitation reduces the need for travel. We have welcomed new associates in Africa, Asia and Europe to our team.
We have been delighted to work further with healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies as these organisations continue their vital role in helping us all. Our work has continued with organisations such as the NHS, Sartorius and Edwards Life Sciences whilst we added AstraZeneca to our client list. One of the highlights of our year was the launch of the Life Sciences Academy in Germany at the end of last month, a fantastic initiative to train great young scientists to be life sciences entrepreneurs. Supporting Blue Ribbon Capital, ESMT and Helmholtz, we built three custom simulations which take participants through the journey from start-up to scale-up for a life sciences business.
As the year closes, we would, as ever, like to wish you all, and especially our dear clients, associates and partners, a restful holiday and an exciting and successful 2023.”
– Jonathan Knight, CEO