Renewal. Re-Imagining. Resolutions. Re-Invention.

The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past. Edition 20.

1.Renewal

“Wanna Fly? You got to give up the shit that weighs you down” Tony Morrison

In the final ooze of this woeful year that will forever stain our memories many look forward to flushing it away.

And to reach for growth after a year differentiated by loss.

Loss of life, loss of health, loss of jobs and the loss of life experiences (first days at work and school, graduations, weddings, honeymoons, travel, funerals and much more)

So, it will be good to extract ourselves from the constraining heaviness of 2020.

But while our calendars enter a new year in less than a week, the constraints and costs of Covid-19 will remain well entrenched for at least another six months when hopefully many of us can be vaccinated.

There will be those who may have their doubts and linger amidst the inoculated.

But there is no Quarantine from reality, and those who voice opposition today are likely to heal their self-injurious mindsets as they witness the benefits in freedom and health from the vaccine.

2.Re-imagining.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been” George Elliot

2020 has made many aware of time. The preciousness of it. The malleability of it.

Few will come through the forge and foundry of the forces endured without being in some ways twisted and transformed into new shapes.

The contours of our lives have been changed.

And for many a new commitment to focus on the essential and the important versus the urgent and insisting.

To attend to what was delayed.

To accelerate plans.

To make the imagined life real.

Before it is too late…

3. Resolutions

“No matter where you go. There you are.” attributed to a Zen Buddhist.

Resolutions rarely work since they require you to step outside yourself and become someone alien to yourself.

This is why habits are hard to form and hard to lose.

It usually requires starting or stopping doing something for 30, 60 or 90 days.

Exercise every day for 30 days or stop eating something bad for you for 60 days and you will have formed a habit.

To build or break a habit is not about resolutions but about rules.

Rules that are simple like “I will read five pages of a book every day " are more likely to lead to you reading more than “ I resolve to read 20 great novels this year”. Similarly a rule like “I will stop eating anything with added sugar on weekdays” is probably more likely to create a good habit than a resolution “I will lose 25 pounds this year!”

One benefit of 2020 is that it has forced us to break habits (good and bad) due to circumscribed movement and other constraints of the lock down.

All of us have started or stopped doing things for 3, 6 and 9 months.

Think and decide what you want to return to doing and why?

Resolve not to necessarily re-start but start anew…

4.Re-Invention

“The Past is never dead. It is not even the past.” William Faulkner

There will be no new-normal but rather a new-strange as the de-materialization and dispersion of all aspects of the Economy will continue. This year has accelerated change by a decade, demanded new approaches from amongst even the most resistant to change and altered mindsets and behaviors in ways that are permanent.

A post vaccine-world will be dramatically different than December 2019 and every individual, team and company should think about how they will re-invent themselves and not fall back into old ways or habits.

The world has been dramatically changed as illustrated in the Great Re-wiring and re-plugging into the old power grid will leave us shocked and our futures short circuited.

The “Great-Re-invention” describes the new landscape and lays out suggested ways forward…

Recap.

“You don’t think before you write, you think as you write” Robert Atwan

A big thank you to each of you 5,022 subscribers who give me 6 to 8 minutes of your time every week and also actively forward and share these writings across your networks. As a result, this “though letter” that began less than five months ago enjoys an average readership of 15,000 with the most popular piece being read by over 25,000 people.

A profile of readers indicates there are over a hundred CEO’s of companies and 1000+ C-Level business executives spanning finance, marketing, procurement and strategy functions across many different industries who have subscribed. However, in addition to the business readership there are also scores of publishers, editors, writers, musicians, photographers and other artists. Particularly pleasing is the significant number of younger generations including students and children of many readers who subscribe after Mom or Dad forwards them a post. The readership is truly global with the United States, UK, France, India, Singapore and the Philippines being the countries accounting for the largest group of readers.

The six most popular writings cluster in one of four areas (The Future, Managing Change, Personal/Career Growth, and Leadership) and here they are:

  1. 12 Career Lessons: https://rishad.substack.com/p/12-career-lessons

  2. 6 Ways to Grow Yourself: https://spark.adobe.com/page/zASIWWv1Z3Wxv/

  3. The Future of Work: https://rishad.substack.com/p/the-future-of-work

  4. A River of Change: https://rishad.substack.com/p/a-river-of-change

  5. Thoughts on Time: https://rishad.substack.com/p/thoughts-on-time

  6. Growth and Change are about People: https://rishad.substack.com/p/thoughts-on-time

Thank you again and a Happy and Healthy 2021 !

All photos by Harold Ross

Rishad Tobaccowala (@rishad) is the author of the bestselling “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data” published by HarperCollins globally in January 2020. It has been described as an “operating manual” for managing people, teams and careers in the age we live in and The Economist Magazine called it perhaps the best recent book on Stakeholder Capitalism. Business and Strategy named it among the best business books of the year and the best book on Marketing in 2020. Rishad is a sought-after speaker, teacher and advisor who helps people think, feel and see differently about how to grow their companies, their teams and themselves. More at https://rishadtobaccowala.com/