2021’s Essential Learnings: Emotions, Excuses, and Insights

December 24, 2021



2021’s Essential Learnings: Emotions, Excuses, and Insights

2021’s Essential Learnings: Emotions, Excuses, and Insights

As we wrap up 2021, there is much that we can learn, benefit from, and use to our competitive advantage in preparing for 2022. Much has changed since the pandemic started and the recent past—how we operated and acted over the last twelve months—provides us with some of the only available insights into how things have changed and examples of what worked and didn’t. Sophie discusses what we experienced in 2021 and areas to reflect upon. She also shares questions for you to think about to gather the insights you need to support your business’s growth and success in the year ahead.


[01:46] We are ready to put 2021 behind us, just as with 2020, but we are in a better place.

[02:51] However, the lingering pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health.

[03:19] Dashed expectations contributed to spring-time burnout, how could well-being be better supported next year?

[04:22] How empathetic concern dropped off during 2021 despite ongoing challenges.

[05:14] After a rollercoaster year, we need to pay attention to emotions and practicing empathy.

[06:30] The majority of new business conditions and lasting operational changes result from digitization, accelerated by the pandemic.

[07:40] Reflection can draw out the insights we need to transform successfully for 2022.

[08:35] Excuses that block or stall change are understandable, but they prevent important progress.

[09:56] The purpose of workplace flexibility is not “letting people work remotely”.

[10:42] There are many ways to give employees more control over how they accomplish their work.

[11:37] Offering equitable working arrangements does not mean employees all having identical options.

[12:29] Surveys help uncover suggestions from employees who know what flexibility they would like.

[13:14] A new work model will fail if leadership is not consistently committed to making it work.

[13:43] How employees act if they are engaged in their work—wherever they are working.

[14:31] Many people use those magically creative “water cooler” moments to insist on office-based work.

[15:41] The realities of creativity and serendipity and being proactive.

[16:52] Why every company needs to implement flexible work arrangements and manage differently.

[18:16] What the new “Project Economy” means regarding how we think about and organize work.

[19:20] Questions to assess 2021 project work methods at your company.

[20:43] How digitization has changed our understanding of business workflows and increased adaptability.

[21:42] Questions to assess how digitalization effected your company’s ability to adapt in 2021.

[23:23] Why are we able now to have a better understanding of our individual preferences?

[23:57] Questions to draw insights from your 2021 work experiences to optimize future results.

[25:05] Critical benefits of recognizing and accommodating our own and coworkers’ preferences.

[26:05] Where to focus useful retrospection to gain useful awareness and start 2022 off well!


“The purpose of hybrid work models is to improve employee engagement and performance”

“Success in the Future of Work has much to do with individuals and teams taking proactive measures.”