Wow! That was some Year! – 2021

The Rope-a-Dope Year comes to a Close

I noted at the end of 2020 that the pace of change would continue and the feels would not go away. Sadly, I was right. For much of this year it felt as if we were playing Rope-a-Dope with digital change, new variants and our emotions.

So much happened this year and it stretched us in new ways, not all comfortable or desired. We found our strength in communities, in the magic of science and in our relationships with each other. For that we can be grateful. We leaned too heavily on resilience and discovered it is a spring, not a buttress. Too much force and it will compress. We also found the weaknesses in the mob, anger and ill-informed debate, those will be challenges we need to tackle for some time.

So here is a year in review.

Photo by Markus Winkler on

Most Popular Posts for 2021

The most popular posts on this blog are often determined by others with far larger audiences and far greater influence. Some things catch and sustain themselves or find an ardent supporter. I can never pick what people will share. I am grateful for their support.

Here are the most viewed posts of the year:

  • Ten Counterintuitive Principles of Change Agents: Exploring the way change really works and why it isn’t about what you want. Struck a deep chord in those working for change
  • Anticipatory Obedience: A sleeper from 2019 on organisational resistance that caught fire in 2020 for all the wrong reasons. It was widely shared by anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers and others who loved the title and didn’t read the post. First time I have been tempted to delete a post. Instead let’s help people challenge the uniformed networks by drawing them out into the rest of the blog.
  • Liminal Spaces: A late 2020 post that struck a chord throughout 2021 about the opportunities that come from exploring boundaries and thresholds
  • Breaking Down the Value of Collaboration: Another 2019 slowburn on drivers of value in collaboration. Is everything old new again? See below in Work Ahead for 2022
  • Resignation: Why the Great Resignation is hardly inevitable and we can’t rely on resilience. Maybe in 2022 we can look after each other better.

Like this blog, a hodgepodge of interesting topics across a wide range of domains but reflecting echoes of our challenges this year.

The Posts I loved for 2021

The following posts are those that dug deeper into themes or challenges that resonated with me in 2021:

And as a bonus there is Listing 100 things that make someone special – a little exercise that might just make someone’s day.

Cool Things that Happened in 2021

Work Ahead in 2022

In 2022, I expect a range of new adventure many of which will stretch me to learn new things and to grow in new and likely unexpected ways. The topics you can expect me to explore include:

  • Growth and Strategy: particularly as I continue to work on growing the LanternPay health payments business
  • Agency and Potential: how we enable others to realise their potential and exercise their agency. I still believe this is the path to better performance and sustainable change. In this topic lies my long promised and not yet started book.
  • Relationships, Collaboration and Yammer: Old things are new again as Yammer plays a more prominent role in Microsoft Viva and as people realise that community is a missing part of their future of work strategy.
  • Boundaries and Liminality: To succeed in a portfolio life, you need effective boundaries to shape focus and stay sane. Not there yet.
  • Poetry: expect the poetry dropped through posts at random to continue. Another strategy to stay sane.

Be safe. Follow the best public health advice you can get from experts. Enjoy the celebrations that bring a year to an end. Let’s do this all again in 2022.

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