Pandemics, it turns out, may not be so great for creativity, but they are kind to bloggers.
This was the best year in terms of readership of this site by some way, with nearly three times the visits of 2019.
I began the year (again) aiming for 52 posts, and managed 36 – which isn’t a bad haul given I had to have medical treatment for nearly 8 months. Social media and the digital world get a lot of stick – but it’s been a genuine lifeline for many this year. I don’t think I’d have made it through the other side without some of the support and inspiration I’ve found online. I should give a fair bit of credit to the NHS too, I saw up close and personal people doing simply incredible work in the early stages of the pandemic.
That said, this year has really been about rediscovering the power of close human connections and the relatively small circle of people who sustain us at a hyperlocal level. This has been one of the highlights amidst the many lowlights of 2020 and is what we need to build upon in the coming year.
Rightly or wrongly the narrative of COVID-19 has become one of fear. Of being afraid of personal contact, of the dangers of human connection, of social groups being a potential petri dish. The effects of this narrative , for the greater public good some would argue, will linger in the long term and are not conducive to the types of community many of us want to foster.
So let’s focus on the positives, which are largely reflected in the most popular posts this year (in reverse order)
The only pre-pandemic post on here built upon a report from the World Economic Forum stating that 86% of people say that ‘we have a leadership crisis in the world today’ with an alarmingly weak correspondence between power and competency. In a year that called for a completely different leadership model, a reader noted we should ‘dump leadership in favour of diverse relationships, dump leaderism in favour of widespread participation. Time to move on.’
After the initial optimism about remote working (arguably the ‘honeymoon period’ in terms of disaster response) people’s experience became decidedly mixed. This post outlined the ‘disillusionment phase’ as we yearned for a return to normal – despite the fact we never really liked normal in the first place.
Some teams are thriving during the pandemic and some are failing. Why is that? This post looked at three factors that alter the experience for remote or hybrid workers: their household complexity, their role complexity and their (social) network quality.
We all know large-scale transformations become too big to fail – resulting in a ‘wall of silence’ when objectives don’t get met. They simply cannot deliver on what is promised. So what’s the point of doing them? This post offered a couple of solutions.
This one has become the most popular post of all time on here by a huge margin mainly due to being featured over on Ycombinator where it got over 600 comments and generated thousands of views.
The death of the office is overstated, but there’s sure going to be a lot of Office Space To Rent signs going up in January.
Thanks to everyone who has read my posts this year and particularly those who have shared and commented on social media.
Remember you can also never miss a post by subscribing at the top of this page.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2021!
Very Best Wishes,