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Let’s be grateful for the chaos of the year that was

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As I skied the slopes of Hakuba in January, I never would have imagined the world would be in a complete lockdown just a few months later. There’s no question this has been an incredibly challenging year, but there’s good news too – hope is on the horizon. The positive results from the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine trials have left a buzz in the air, as we see the light at the end of the tunnel. A way out. To restore normality to our lives, yet we’re holding our breath that the light isn’t another second or third-wave train barrelling down the tracks!

You know, there’s been so much talk of the “new normal,” but I’d like to nominate another statement as the most over-used phrase in 2020. “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Over and over, we’ve heard it in boardrooms across the country, as we used one of the most widespread pandemics in human history to make meaningful change in the workplace. And I’ve got to say. I’m deeply impressed with just how well we’ve all handled ourselves.

Some of us have found new skills in the kitchen, while others have enjoyed the irreplaceable gift of time we’ve shared with our family and loved ones. I’ve seen new leaders emerge from both the top and bottom of organizations, getting comfortable with new technologies like Zoom and Teams like a duck to water. Cameras on, it’s like they instinctively know the importance of face-to-face communication, even if it’s through a screen. Dressing to impress instead of rocking “easy” clothes, the level of professionalism we’ve demonstrated throughout this crisis has been remarkable.

Though I’ll admit, in some cases, it has revealed our workaholic tendencies. Please remember that when you’re working at home, you’re still in control of our work-life balance. Don’t let it spiral. Shakespeare said it well, and I’m paraphrasing when I say the fault isn’t with the company or the Japanese work culture. The fault is in ourselves. It’s quite a powerful notion when you think about it, that we have the power in us to take responsibility in our life. And I know we can do it, because I’ve seen the resilience, adaptability, and innovation we’ve tackled this pandemic with.

Looking forward, the leaders I’ve spoken to are extremely bullish for what’s about to come. Planning new launches as we speak, enrolling patients in exciting clinical trials, and key opinion leaders are building new digital relationships at an incredible speed. The change this crisis has triggered impacts organizations at all levels, positioning us for a future that’s incredibly bright. And with Thanksgiving in the U.S. almost here, there is so much we have to be grateful for. For our families who have stood by us, our friends who have supported us, our Teams Meetings that have kept the business running, and of course, the impact we all make in the Healthcare industry.

I’m excited to see what the next few years will bring – I’ve got a feeling the best is still to come.

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