How has your year been? Productive with a touch of chaos? Or challenging with some key milestones reached?
Perhaps a bit of a mixture!
Every year – however my year has gone – I love to reflect on what’s happened, what I’ve learnt and what I have planned for the following year. For me, 2021 has been a year of sharing insights and helping organisations drive real change. None of us really knew what the year had in store after the pandemic started in 2020, and I know from the conversations I’ve had, it’s been different for everyone.
Variety is the spice of life!
Here at Redefining Communications, we’ve had a year full of variety, working with some fantastic organisations and teams – from Greater Anglia and BAE Systems, to LifeArc and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I’ve taken teams and organisations through The Field Model to help them diagnose the root cause of chaos. And we’ve worked on projects to support National Inclusion Week, campaigns to increase engagement in internal digital channels and run our mental resilience workshops for multiple clients.
People often ask about key themes I’m seeing in the organisations I’m working with and the things that are important. While there are some, I always come back to the fact that every organisation or team are different. It’s why we need to take the time to get things right for the long term.
The conversation and insights have flowed
Alongside client work, I’ve been busy speaking at various events around the world – albeit still from home. I’ve been interviewed for many leading podcasts and been a speaker at a number of events this year and it’s been wonderful getting to know people from different industries and countries, exploring the themes that surround business and communication.
Having an article published in theHRDIRECTOR magazine was a real highlight, especially as I spent a lot of this year talking about the myths of hybrid working and the opportunity that comes with, what I’ve termed, the pandemic revolution.
In the first half of the year, we published research into the role of line managers designed to explore how it needs to change to avoid unnecessary barriers to internal communication. We shared 12 key insights from the survey including a need to address matrix structures, better training around communication and the importance of autonomy.
I also had a blast chatting on Clubhouse every week throughout the first six months of the year. We covered so many topics; having the ability to chat to people from all over the world, from all sorts of industries was brilliant.
Five-star book and podcast
My book was published in April and over 700 people have already grabbed a copy. The DMs, reviews and emails I get from people always make me smile and there was one, in particular, this year that really brought home to me the importance of sharing insights across the community:
“I’ve been interviewing recently and came up against a case study as part of the process. I just wanted to share that the content of your book, particularly The Field Model, featured heavily in my preparation and the practical tips you include were hugely valuable. So, thank you and congratulations on creating a fantastic resource for our profession. Oh, and I got the job!”
I share a lot of content on my blog and I wanted to bring this to life a bit more, which prompted the launch of my podcast – Redefining Communications with Jenni Field – in mid-October. Each episode helps leaders go from chaos to calm in 15 minutes. It’s important to me that the advice is quick and accessible for everyone. I reached the top 10 management podcasts in Great Britain on Apple Podcasts in my first week, achieved five-star reviews and plan to be back with a second season in 2022.
Ending the year on a high – encouraged by a growing community
I ended the year with an industry book launch last week and the publication of The Field Report; a combination of my thinking over the last few years. It includes insights from my own research and identifies the opportunities to be grasped on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic. I cover topics including mental resilience, productivity, leadership and hybrid working.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to chat with me on a podcast, read my book, co-present with me at an event or message me to let me know how the podcast or the book has helped. Last year, I talked about the importance of community and that this would come to the fore in 2021. While we still do the majority of our work virtually, it’s been brilliant building a bigger community and getting to know so many people around the world.
I’d love to know how your year has been and what’s on your agenda for next year. If you’d like to join my community, you can do so by subscribing here. And if I can help you in any way in 2022 to bring some calm amongst the chaos, please do get in touch.