A look back at 2020
2020. The year that felt like Jazzercise. Look. Everyone has their strengths. Jazzercise is not one of mine. I’m the girl in the back of the room turning left when everyone else is turning right. Trying to find the beat with my ears—and with my feet. And, just when I think I’ve figured it out, the song changes … that was 2020 in this business. Maybe in the whole world.
In January, after our annual business planning retreat, we thought we had a good handle on the year. Aligned on a few key priorities and growth initiatives—endeavored to grow into more of a sustainable and repeatable business model than the rapid hockey-stick growth curve that earned us “fastest-growing privately held business” awards across the past five years.
In February, we had our events contracts lined up for the next six months, and we were just about to roll up our sleeves to kick off planning meetings.
And then, in March, the world stopped … and much like the girl in the back of that Jazzercise studio, we were left spinning around in circles for a moment wondering … is there another song? Can I keep doing these moves? Or do I need to learn a new step? To a new beat? We didn’t wait for the answers to find us. We pivoted rather quickly. We took some of the moves we already knew, cranked up the volume, and amplified our digital marketing practice—practically overnight, but it may have actually taken a full week to replace our events practice (and anticipated revenue).
Shifting from the office to remote
Transitioning the way we worked from the office to home was like dancing to a song we knew, but at three times the speed with new beats. A remix of the original. Some of our employees already worked remotely from other states, but now it was the entire team. It was just a matter of getting everyone else up to speed. As if you were helping other people in the back of the Jazzercise studio with the moves as you’re trying to do them yourself.
The foundation of a partially remote team helped all of us to pivot quickly. We already had the Microsoft 365 technology in place to seamlessly communicate with each other and our clients via email and Teams videoconferencing. The templates and processes we used on a regular basis for campaigns and other projects were already securely stored in the cloud, making it easier for us to pick up the beat and innovate some moves to match, allowing us to help our clients step-ball-change into digital marketing faster than their competition.
Thankfully, we were able to do all this without suffering the consequences of the pandemic. The technology enabled us to remain resilient and shift our focus to the good, people-centric priorities of balance and culture within our own company.
Making the most of remote work culture
Our remote culture formed around this foundation of balance and culture. We began adapting by initiating weekly meetings or “Coffee Breaks” to check in on our employees. These discussions revolved around how everyone was coping with their “New Normal” and addressing any fears or worries circulating in their minds.
These weekly meetings became an essential part of building our remote work culture. They helped new and old employees become acquainted with one another through something other than work. These coffee hours then evolved into monthly team games, nature escapes, and project showcases, which rejuvenated everyone’s productivity and creativity at work.
Our remote culture reflects the unspoken kinship between people in the back row of the Jazzercise studio. Although we may be struggling to learn the steps and match the beat, we all appreciate the comradery of sticking it out through the whole song together. It gives us the human connection we were lacking while being cooped up in our homes. The resilience we share is not only a testament to this last year, but also the last five years.
Knowing our hard work paid off
After attending a couple of Jazzercise classes, you get better at finding the beat with your ears and your feet. Spinning to the right instead of the left isn’t really an issue (sometimes). The change in songs doesn’t leave you confused. The same resiliency that pushed us to endure the Jazzercise class together is also what led to our success.
Being open to learning, growing, innovating, and getting smarter about how we position our services and solutions is something we’ve been doing over the last five years—not just in 2020. We trained ourselves to listen for new market trends and found ways to match the beat, leading us to grow in numerous ways.
This fall, The Odigo Group was honored for our growth by appearing on two exclusive lists: Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 2020 and ranking fifth on Puget Sound Business Journal’s list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 2020.
Receiving these awards was truly a humbling moment. Seeing our name on these lists confirmed one important thing: We’ve formed good habits. Creating new, impactful ways to go to market and grow has become part of our nature. Getting hit by a pandemic didn’t slow us down because we already had a modern infrastructure. We were able to continue serving our clients and help them solve their business challenges without a negative impact to our business.
As 2020 comes to a close, we begin to reflect once again on how we will mature and grow as a company. If the last 365 days have helped us prove anything to ourselves, it is that with grit, determination, and a few jazz hands along the way, we can overcome and grow stronger together. If 2020 couldn’t put a stop to our team’s innovation and determination, 2021 isn’t prepared for what we have in store.
About the Author: At The Odigo Group, we are channel marketing experts and sales-enablement consultants with decades of experience. We’ve worked with both small businesses and enterprises, and we’re deeply committed to our clients’ success as we create content to tell their stories, strategically sell their services, and drive their vision. We’re big picture thinkers with obsessive attention to detail. Get in touch with us today.