One Memory in a Memorable Year

One Memory in a Memorable Year

One Memory in a Memorable Year

23rd December 2020

Now we’re in the middle of the holiday season with 2020 coming to a close I took a moment to reflect on my favourite work memory (or memories) of the year.

Hands down, it has to be our adventures up and around Divis and Black Mountain, captured in this photograph with the marketing team at the start of October.

We closed our offices earlier than most, really from March 4th, and decided to keep our London, New York and Belfast offices closed until at least May 1st, 2021.

To begin with, we made a big push towards video only. I’ve been video only for internal calls since April. If anything, general communication has been better than when in the office, especially given most of our teams are spread out around the globe at the best of times.

However, as it drifted into August, it became clear that a broad group of people in our firm, myself included, were yearning for some good old face to face.

Our first attempt was a Saturday morning team hike for anyone on the Belfast team who wanted to join. Ironically most people went up the wrong mountain. The support team now has had a hike up some mountain or other most Saturdays. Makes a huge difference to personal connectedness across the team when working from home.

From September 1st, we upped the tempo. I started doing three to four “hikes” or walking meetings a week and maintained that right through until this week. A few were one-on-ones, but most were in groups of five or six, generally cross team – people who needed to be talking to each other but didn’t seem to be.

Across almost four months, I only got two proper soakings (apologies to Christy and Una) – and eventually learnt to check the weather radar before heading up the mountain. A “proper” soaking means a couple of degrees above freezing, fifty mile per hour winds and driving rain or sleet – what you’d expect at the top of a mountain in mid-winter.

Much more frequent though were the majestic mornings with crystal clear panoramic views over Belfast and the Irish Sea to the east, Mournes and Slieve Croob to the South, with Lough Neagh and the Sperrins to the west.

I fully expect these hikes will remain a cornerstone of how we work as a team when the events of 2020 fade far in the rearview mirror and, therein lies the lesson; 2020 has unquestionably been a different and often challenging year for everyone however, despite its challenges, we should have experienced some positive changes that we integrate into our lives long into the future.  If we don’t take these positive changes with us, it will have been a 9-month life lesson missed.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

– Danny Moore, President & CEO

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