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My 2019 Year in Review

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Another year has passed and yet again I can’t really understand where the time has gone. But here we are and it’s always good to reflect on what stands out. 


Please forgive the sports pun but 2019 really does feel like a year of two halves. The first 6 months were as crazy and busy as ever, with political issues lurking but not really coming to the fore. In the past 6 months we’ve seen more apprehension in the global economy as the world appeared to step up with its political agenda and make life that little harder for the business community. We had protests in Hong Kong, Brexit in the UK, Trade Wars between the US and China and further protests in France and Spain while more political problems made life tough in Brazil. 


However, while I say all of that, I am also now hearing that there is hope on the horizon. Events in Hong Kong have settled down, Brexit now has a path to tread and China and the US are reaching stage 1 in their trade negotiations. Personally this gives me a more positive view for 2020. I’m not saying we won’t have our problems but it feels like we’re all a little more decisive and focused on the result now, rather than fighting about the direction we want to be heading. 


From an HR perspective, there are 3 key things that I continued to hear about on my 2019 travels that I think will remain an important focus in 2020:


  • Diversity & Inclusion – D&I topics continue to take up a lot of space on the HR agenda and I don’t see this changing in 2020. Whether you believe in it or not, if you aren’t incorporating D&I strategies and initiatives into your business you are missing a big trick. Interestingly, our 2019 Global HR Survey found that 50% of organisations still do not have a defined strategy or plan.


  • The State of Perpetual Change – Companies appear to be in a state of perpetual change nowadays. I can’t recall a single meeting where change management wasn’t mentioned and I see this continuing into next year. 


  • Big Data – HR teams and businesses in general are wanting to increasingly make decisions based on data. I will be interested to see in 2020 how much companies will rely on and possibly overuse this. Data is a great tool to highlight what we don’t see and enable businesses to make decisions based on facts and statistics but we need to still add in reason and rationalisation. Without the human element data alone might not tell the whole story and relying solely on it is not an effective data strategy. 


The “human” side of Human Resources is something I feel passionately about. In 2020 I’d like to see and hear more from HR leaders about how they are trying to persuade their business leaders to reconnect to the teams around them, act with more compassion and put more trust in their employees. 


In relation to the topic of trust, at the recent LinkedIn Talent Connect conference I was inspired as a leader and business owner to think about how I can make life better for the people that work for me. Acting on this, I have decided that the Elliott Scott Group will be removing annual leave limits and allowing our employees the opportunity to work, live and experience more in 2020. I believe in trusting my team and people and giving them the capacity to experience life to a fuller extent. By doing this I believe that I will get back even more from my team while also allowing them to enjoy the things that are important to them. 


Merry Christmas, thank you to everyone for your ongoing support and I look forward to catching up on my travels in 2020.  


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