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4 Lessons From 2020 — And Reasons For Hope In 2021

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

As we reach the end of a year unlike any other, it is tempting to only look towards the promise of 2021. But this extraordinary year has given us all plenty to think about.

We’ve learned where we are vulnerable, and we’ve learned our own strengths. We’ve narrowed our bubbles, but we have expanded our perspectives — for example, on the importance of essential workers, on the need to support local business, on new ways for households to share time together, on the immense pleasure of sharing a smile even when it’s online or behind a mask.

To capture this moment, we’ve reached out to four members of the BOOM community — including BOOM President and CEO, Laureen Regan — to ask what they’ve learned from 2020, and what brings them hope for the New Year.

John Gorman, Vice President of Canada and West Coast US, Halliburton

Founded in 1919 and a BOOM Member Company since 2014, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, with more than 40,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in more than 80 countries.

Take away from 2020:One big realization … the recognition that we can actually trust our employees to work from home. That’s partly from necessity — while more people were already working from home before the pandemic, due to the past year’s events, we had to rely on thousands of our employees to work from home. When we compare our traditional office-based work practices to what has actually transpired, we find productivity has in fact increased in a work-from-home model, even though, unfortunately, we had to reduce staff during the downturn. As such, people are being asked to do more, and the reality is they are successfully improving throughput. We were also able to roll over our COVID-19 based IT security and work protocols to increase the speed of switching back to a work-from-home mentality. That is, while the initial lockdown in March took weeks to get organized, to set up home offices and protocols, and to achieve productivity, we did gradually return some staff to the office by November. When the second lockdown was announced in early December, it only took a few hours to swing back to a productive remote office setting, regardless of what region our team members were in. People adjusted to it really well.”

Hope for 2021: “Selfishly, I hope that there is a Stampede and a hockey season, and, perhaps less selfishly, that we can safely attend conferences in person, take friends and clients to a restaurant, and visit family without restrictions.”

Tara Ternes, Executive Director, Alberta Electrical Alliance

A BOOM Member Company since 2018, the Alberta Electrical Alliance is a non-profit, member-based, provincial trade association of more than 100 companies and 1,000 people including electricians, contractors, engineers, maintenance professionals, government agencies, manufacturers, electrical suppliers, utility companies and students.

Take away from 2020: “In March, we had to shut down our annual Electrical Learning Expo less than a week before it was scheduled to open, and we had to cancel all our regular events. My team spent the summer investigating what our members needed and exploring online options. As a team, I think we learned the value of facing the unknown and the importance of accepting and tolerating uncertainty. As a leader, I learned the value of surrounding myself with supportive people with diverse skills — you can’t do everything yourself. In the end, we were able to do so many things: we presented an online conference; we did a photo contest; we were still able to give to scholarships and to our charities. And in November, we broke new ground by offering the Expo completely online. In a sense, constant evolution is kind of our jam because our members are always changing. It’s not unusual for us to figure out new approaches to the programs we offer — but always based on the fundamentals we’ve learned from our 26-year history of supporting our members.”

Hope for 2021: “Going forward, we’ll build on the online seminar experiences we’ve been able to achieve. Our new online capabilities mean more members from across Alberta are able to participate in events, and that means we can share more information province-wide than ever before.”

Laureen Regan, President and CEO, BOOM

BOOM’s proven rewards platform delivers a valuable Rewards and Loyalty Program for its Member Companies. BOOM has a growing membership of more than 120,000 people nation-wide from top employers, unions and professional associations.

Take away from 2020: “I think we’ve learned that people are capable of great change when it comes to how we do business, and we need to embrace that. It has been an anxious time for so many, with so much stress and worry for all of us. As leaders, we need to remember to stop, listen to our teams and to each other, and take the time to adjust and to help. But I’ve seen that great change is possible in a short period of time. If you had told me a year ago, ‘Laureen, by December you’ll be 10 months into fully working remotely with the BOOM team,’ I would have said, ‘No way. There’s no way; we can’t do that.’ But now, not only are we working differently, we are doing it very, very well, delivering more for our Members, Member Companies and Retail Brands. I am so grateful for the team that has embraced so much change, created new digital solutions and stayed connected to one another throughout.”

Hope for 2021: “I hope that we arrive in 2021 better prepared to be flexible with how and where we work. That BOOM can continue to find new and unique ways to help our community, our customers and our members. I hope we can continue to come together kindly as a society to support one another through these uncertain times.”

Alice Reimer Startup Founder and CEO, Fillip

With BOOM Brand Partner Fillip, earn cashback and instant rewards on all your fuel + convenience purchases!

Take away from 2020: “Creativity is driven by constraints and the constraints of 2020 meant that we had to find new ways to work, to communicate and to create. It highlighted just how creative our team is and how creative we can be in pursuit of our goals and objectives.”

Hope for 2021: “I continue to be very bullish about 2021. I hope teams will be able to get back together again in person, because I think great results come out of that connection. And I hope we continue the momentum we were able to gather in 2020, and take that great resiliency into 2021.”

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