Don't tell me to keep safe in 2021! (change our language to become successful again)

30.12.20 09:43 AM By Matt Koopmans

When we lead in 2021, it is tradition to do a round-up of the year past. 2020 was a year that does not deserve such accolade. You are reading this article - great, you made it through. Let's leave it at that. I'd rather focus on the year ahead. And in particular, what we can do to make it successful enough for us to forget about the challenges of 2020.

Stop telling me to keep safe!

I don't want to be safe in 2021, I want to be successful. And I wish for you to be successful too. That means we have to get out of our comfort-zone. We have to leave the basement and get out and take risks. The better we are at assessing risks and calculating the odds, the higher the chance of the reward at the end. It is not going to be a straight line - as much as we like to win every time - the occasional set-back builds strength, and tests our resolve while we refocus our efforts.

In 2021, I wish for you to be successful!

We cannot impose a "new normal" on others - only on ourselves

I am not a fan of the term "new normal". It implies a revolutionary change - usually these lead to disastrous outcomes. There is no "new normal" - there are only new parameters which will imply a behavioural change, driven by newly formed opportunities. As a species we have an uncanny ability to survive and even thrive in changed environments through clever adaption. By forcing a model in the form of a "new normal" from the top-down, it doesn't encourage the innovation we need to successfully adapt. Innovation is never a top-down enterprise, it comes from everyday people solving everyday problems. 

In 2021, I wish for you to be inspired to innovate!

Reality abhors consensus

Consensus can be useful, it keeps us moving forward in lieu of total agreement. However, consensus is not a desired end-state. It is the vehicle for some sort of progress instead of endless arguments. And then comes the "breakthrough" to break through the consensus of the day. When Einstein formulated is general theory of relativity, he did not stick to the consensus of the day. In fact, his theories were ridiculed by many... until the predictions flowing from this consensus breaking theory started to be backed by observations. Reality is not democratic, facts tend not to care about how many people believe in their existence. Original thought providing testable predictions, which are backed by observations leads to new insights. 

In 2021, I wish for you to be an original thinker!

I wish you an inspired and successful 2021 - let's break new ground

Matt Koopmans