Week 1 – Business priorities and minding the gap

Big Picture Perspectives;

  1. Economy – savings rates have moved from 4/5% to double digits – there is money to spend – watch the patterns in China on recovery and spend… they are booming and there is expectation of the ‘roaring 20s’ … now as of last week, we have amassed £5.4 trillion globally in savings and it is widely acknowledged that ‘recovery; in under -anticipated in developed countries – in the 1920s the Us economy grew by a whopping 42% … as economies open up, demand will surge.
  2. Society – a gradual return of confidence but also a more conscious culture. Spend recovery will happen as fast as the rate at which people feel confident. It will be a pattern of more frugality and discernment. Values are key as well as uncertainty.
  3. Environment – A pandemic winner – wellbeing for planet and humanity, investment and protection is now almost universally acknowledged and industries are forced to respond. Climate change commitments are growing rapidly – Net Zero commitments ae being driven hard – such as GFANZ – Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero or Apple’s £200m Restore Fund – Most companies and finical institutions now get that the environment and climate change constitute a MAJOR systemic risk. Note the proliferation in ESG investment
  4. Geopolitical – watch the pace of policy adjustment, ability to cope with debt, more responsibility on employers, addressing health inequalities, mental health and grass root existence for people. Gaps will close between public and private sector organisations in bids for the greater good. Policy activism to hold the giant’s feet to the fire – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple
  5. Technology – “the future of wellbeing will be driven by technology but defined by humanity” – the embrace of technology has sky rocketed and will be a key source of reinvention in myriad ways – how people spend is one of them. 50% of companies are 7 years ahead of their digitalisation plan pre-Covid – this could mean higher productivity and sustained growth.

Spending patterns

Spending patterns have changed – the first half of 2020 saw an increase in e-commerce equivalent to the last 10 years – US penetration of e-commerce was forecast in 2019 to reach 24% by July ‘24 – by July 2020 it has hit 33% of retail sales. In Europe, digital adoption is 95% compared to 81% pre pandemic – biggest growth – Germany, Romania and Switzerland – 28,25,18% respectively (McKinsey)


Distrust for business as usual – green, human-centric and conscious is the colour and sentiment of recovery – pursuit of being carbon neutral is on a perpetual rise – the EU plan to dedicate 30% of $880billion plan for COVID19 crisis to climate change measures – China pledges carbon neutral by 2060, Japan by 2050


Larry Fink (CEO of BlackRock – $8.6tr of AUM) said it in his annual letter to CEOs, adding: “the more your firms are seen to embrace climate transition and the opportunities it brings, the more the market will reward you with higher valuations”. Put differently, this means that companies whose business model doesn’t fit a net-zero economy face trouble. 2021 will be yet another inflection point for ESG strategies. (Monthly Barometer)


Facts to note – brand response and building customer trust 

  1. Edelmann (global comms firm) – 63% of 12000 surveyed believed their country would not make it through the crisis without brands playing a critical role. 55% believed their brands were responding more effectively than government.
  2. Dr David Nabarro – WHO – “Brands must be authentic, accountable and audacious”
  3. Brands doing “what is right” for their employees, suppliers, customers and society at large ( NOT ‘the right thing’ for PR gain)
  4. Empathic response and value, speaking up over ‘going dark’ – Walmart – retail heroes. Nike supporting the ‘stay at home’ message, McDonalds, social distancing – failures too – Singapore Airlines, L’Oreal and BLM – admittedly a tightrope of sensitivity
  5. Grace and humility –companies refunding furlough monies, paying back pay cuts; IKEA, Primark, John Lewis, Barrett and Taylor Wimpey


Minding the gap between personal and work values;

What do I mean by this?  Reflect on the examples I shared with you.  Let me also pose a reminder that we have zero control over how others choose to behave or (initially at least) how companies or business choose to operate – what we CAN do is be conscious of our own values,  strive to be in alignment and respond rather than react to instances that go against what we may believe to be right;

  1. How businesses treat other businesses – supply chain specific – the culture of the big firms delaying invoice payment and processes to the detriment of SMEs or sole traders. If you see that happening in business, it is a red flag for a scarcity of conscious culture – despite the savings rates, for some, financial wellbeing will be a compounded issue as we move through the coming years
  2. Conflicting values that don’t always surface immediately – you may think you’re aligned but the subject of money is oftentimes a very immediate way of flushing out true intentions- if greed for money is a primary focus, that’s another red flag.

Do things happen in the systems of the companies you work for or your social circles that don’t align with your own beliefs and values system? That’s the gap we’re talking about – recognising it, bridging it, closing it.

Insights and Takeaways

What matters?

Business cornerstones & priorities;

  1. Response (not reaction) – to customer, guest, consumer, employee needs through culture , philosophy and values being met; Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say matter to you? Leadership mindset, a familial approach that is still relentlessly business focused. Do the fundamentals of your product match the values of your patrons?
  2. Communications and engagement – personalisation, care and nurture – for customers AND employees – community and connection. No matter your industry or business , engaging in a meaningful way that feels societal and inclusive over commercial.
  3. Belonging, presence and nurture – customers/guests/employees alike need to feel they matter and they belong – community, connection, compassion and empathy. Make wellbeing about an integrated culture of consciousness NOT an optional programme.
  4. Brand trust and credibility – every brand will need an end-to end philosophy, is all that is preached also practiced? “Trust is like love, both parties have to feel it before it really exists” Simon Sinek Ethical branding is core to millennial decision making – 9 in 10 would switch brands to one associated with a cause (Cone Communications)

Why wellbeing is a net winner of the Pandemic

  1. Self reflection, contemplation and soul searching – people have become more acutely aware of what is important to them.
  2. Concern for the planet – realisation that human and planetary health go hand in hand is driving adjusted priorities in the minds of consumers.
  3. Fresh receptivity toward improved health – optimised health is the hottest commodity but there is no silver bullet.
  4. Policy maker attention – the minds of governments globally are being brought into sharp focus amidst the unwell global landscape.
  5. The workplace – whether home or office, on-location or a garden shed – 64% of 18- 34yr olds expect their employer to support their health and wellbeing.

The notion of hysteresis 

The impact of change on a system cannot be reversed simply by taking away the force you applied in the first place – below captures some of the perspectives

  1. Structural adjustments – eg re-evaluation of city economies
  2. Changes in consumer behaviour …and response – thoughts, emotions and actions
  3. Workplace behaviour – a WFH or hybrid approach means an enormous cultural shift, particularly in developed countries.
  4. Government rules and regulations – expect the pandemic impact to be used to accelerate positive change as well as opportunity that will be seized upon to drive shifts that may not have been accepted pre-pandemic – the closing down of free speech in some countries as an example (in the name of preventing fake, fear mongering news)

Minding the gap

Be conscious of your own state  – is there a gap between where you’re standing and where you want to be?

This is about being aware of the things or behaviour that may bring up a feeling of angst or even anger, something that doesn’t jive with who you ae and what you believe in.

Q – What are you aware of that may make you feel a little uncomfortable? What are your red flags?

Q – What prevents you from resolving? ( it may be fear of the consequence of speaking up or your intentions being misinterpreted)

This is the gap that needs bridging and closing to gain more alignment in values and to lead and ‘be’ from a place harmony and flow.

The Impetus Hub lens we’re looking through, is one of cultural shift  – it can mistakenly be translated into a strategic shift but it is much more human, more felt, more tangible and more energetically experienced.

Famously said by Peter Drucker – “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”


Sowing the seeds of personal growth;

Q – What are your daily non-negotiables?

Creating a daily framework that takes care of your own wellbeing as a priority is your baseline in self-care, personal nurture and self compassion. Think about what you do currently. If the the answer is nothing or not much, don’t worry, start now.

The practices you begin to adopt will feed into your balancing and alignment system that in turn, feeds and cultivates resilience – Bill Mitchell refers as sayng “this is not a quality but a set of skills we need to learn and maintain”



Examples include; going for a walk, early to bed, increased hydration, morning journaling, a bath with no technology, breathing practice, meditation, body brushing, affirmations, dancing, singing, a freshly squeezed vegetable juice …there are many, looking forward to hearing what you’ve chosen to embrace!


Being your own activist for belonging

There is a big difference between belonging and fitting in … we can become masters of fitting in, it may appear to be easier but it is not, it is the source of discontent  – the story of my life until more recent years, more than happy to share examples, consequences and learnings;

Take time for consideration;

Ponder the difference (examples in your own lives), of choices you have made between belonging (staying true to what you believe in and value)  and fitting in ( going with the crowd, not wishing to make a ‘fuss’, fear of consequence for speaking up. Think about the consequences and learnings for yourself.

It takes time to build the consciousness muscle , your daily non-negotiable will help you.

TAKE TIME   – be gentle with yourself and practice self compassion – be conscious of negative self talk

TAKE TIME –  step into that self compassion and acknowledge where we all are and what we are enduring – unacknowledged grief is a very common state of this pandemic era




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