We are now nearly through with February, where we see life renew, helping our collective mood to lift, as we look forward to a warmer breeze and more time enjoying the abundance of life and colour that comes with an approaching summer. Perhaps this year, the summer of 2021, will be as much a time for reflection on what we learned, as it will (hopefully!), bring some celebration. As I write this today, I am reminded of Maureen Gaffney’s book “Flourishing”. In it she describes how we can access higher levels of personal functioning, if we can manage to reflect and learn from periods of stress – popularly referred to as ‘stress related growth’. A personal promise to myself, is to use some time in 2021, to reflect on my experience of 2020 and how I might use this as an opportunity for development and growth over the coming years.
In Crosscard, despite the pandemic, we were able to continue develop our team, which grew from a base of 42 employees in Jan 2020, to now employing 81 colleagues! We also positively developed our proposition; adding new features to our products and services that underpin our commitment to our customers. As colleagues, we also adapted to now familiar ways to stay connected, supporting each other and getting the job done and in defiance of all obstacles; I must say we’re a resilient lot!
As CEO, I am grateful that our collective experience has been a largely positive one and although challenging, I hope we lean on our learnings from the pandemic to drive the business forward in 2021 and beyond.
Priorities for 2021
In the spirit of looking forward to the year ahead, I want to make sure we continue to set ambitious goals. The three big ones on my mind are…
1. Continue to develop our team.
2. Embedding the Crosscard ‘Ways of Working’ deeper into our organisation.
3. Continue to innovate and expand on our product propositions for our customers.
Growth & Development
Whenever the opportunity presents we will continue to work on developing great talent! Inherent in achieving these three goals is the desire to continuously improve and learn. In my experience, development works best when it is a reciprocal process i.e. that colleagues own the effort to grow and develop and, wherever possible, the company should match colleagues levels of commitment with the right support. In a modern organisation such as ours, there are two things I keep in mind i.e. (1) What you know is less relevant than what you may learn (2) Knowing the answer to questions is less critical than having the ability to ask the right questions in the first place. Growth and Development isn’t just about attending a course or doing on-line training. It is more about owning your own mindset and skillset and being committed to the idea that we can always improve as individuals and as a team; It simply needs a willingness to learn and to take the next best action available to you. In 2021, we will be engaging our colleagues to consider how best can we develop our capabilities and set about putting a personal development plan in place to do that.
Ways of Working
The pandemic will continue to challenge us and I expect we will be confronted with tough decisions like many other businesses. It is precisely at times of challenge that the best teams double down on the behaviours that underpin success. This is why my second priority is to embed the Crosscard ‘Ways of Working’. The truth is that consistently positive behaviours differentiate a business from competitors and makes for an inclusive and open culture. Embedding our desired behaviours is not a branding, or indeed, a one-time exercise; it is a way of working that will positively support the achievement of our dual shared goals of achieving growth and being a great place to work.
My third priority is to continue changing, innovating and expanding our propositions to support our customers. We are operating in a very competitive market; a market that accelerated in the pandemic, as we witnessed a rapid reduction in cash use and the migration to digital payments in 2020. Just like all FinTech’s and payment companies, we need to stay focused on being quick and agile to iteratively innovate and produce truly customer centric solutions. This means innovating to create state of the art customer propositions that reflect their changing needs and behaviours. Getting to grips with an innovative mindset and practice will be critical to underpinning and sustaining our success in 2021 and beyond.
With all of the above priorities, I hope that we can grow Crosscard as a business and have an even more successful year than 2020. We have a lot of ambition to succeed, and my main task will be to get our team to unite and work together. I believe we will be successful.