Navigating adversity

October 2020

Maurice Goldstone

CEO

Several months ago, I committed to writing a blog on the 1st of each month. As with many things this year, it hasn’t quite materialised as planned.

Some really important things haven’t panned out as expected, others more trivial.

However, rather than lie down and let the pandemic derail too much, I am on a mission to change the narrative of what the challenging winter months will bring – or at least attempt to.

Spring 2021, I want to be able to say that at Allen Lane, we have achieved what we have planned because we realigned our plans. I am of course worried about the impact that the cold, wet, dark days ahead will have but I want to recognise what the challenges are, what we can control and anticipate, and adjust accordingly.

Spring 2020, working patterns changed and there was a novelty element that was embraced. Of course the last 6 months have been up and down, but they have been made easier by good weather and long, warm, bright days.

We used the time to analyse and revolutionise our culture and practices and ensured we have communicated honestly and openly throughout; managing mental health and financial challenges to the best of our abilities.

We were as inventive as we could be and readied the office for a return to work on the Prime Minister’s instruction, and welcomed smiling faces back to our brilliant, spacious offices in cautious bubbles.

Being encouraged to once again work from home deflated some but rather than let it grind us down, we are making sure we are controlling our path.

We are being proactive internally to ensure we’re tackling our markets and disciplines with the right resources and approaches, and are as ambitious with our focus as we have ever been.

We are also making sure we are bringing the fun. The social engagement and interaction of our company is crucial to the success we’ve had – making memories is part of what we’re about.

However, far from thinking that we can’t do anything until restrictions are lifted and being glum about festive parties being cancelled etc, we have looked at what options are open to us.

Whilst company-wide quarterly bashes are on hold, bike-rides and walks are possible; Covid friendly afternoons at the London Barbecue School (<10 people) and Kiln Rooms (<14) are in the diary; restaurants are open and a chance for people in groups of <6 to catch up and enjoy each others’ company.

We will never go against the government, nor will we sail close to the edge of what’s acceptable; but we will be creative within the boundaries of what’s ok. We mustn’t forget to smile, and we will remain thankful for the opportunities in front of us.

So, perhaps if it needs tweaking, change your narrative, adjust your goals and tweak your plans so that your story isn’t one of plans not materialising; rather of revised ambitions being realised.

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