IoD SOUTHWEST LOOKS FORWARD TO 2021 WITH HOPE
Robert Lloyd Griffiths OBE is National Director of the IoD in the South West and Wales
2020 has been an incredibly difficult and challenging year for us all but as we look forward to 2021, we should reflect on some of the positives. The pandemic has created a keener sense of community and how important is it to support each other. I believe this ‘local thinking’ will continue in 2021, not least because of Brexit which is simply a moving target for directors right now. Disrupted supply chains have put the focus on sourcing and selling locally rather than globally. It also makes sense from an environmental and sustainable perspective.
Digital platforms will continue to be at be at the forefront of many of our businesses – we’ve all become more digitally competent and business has had to embrace this in terms of reaching many of its customers effectively. Social platforms will be less marketing tools and more a transactional necessity. Business model innovation will also remain key. We’re not out of the woods yet and those businesses that have reacted swiftly and creatively, such as restaurants that offered take away, alcohol producers that made sanitiser, will be the ones that will weather the longer term impacts of this pandemic.
Despite the fact that we are now rolling out a vaccine, restrictions are likely to remain for some months yet and it is vital that Government is clear with business about what these mean for them because there has inevitably been a lot of start stop in 2020. Our tourism and hospitality sectors have been particularly hard hit so we would like to see ongoing Government support to help them through this crisis.
Finally, great leaders are born out of adversity: the IoD is all about providing you with those tools that will help you continue building resilience and enable you to make the right decisions in times of uncertainty such as these.