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CEO Insights - Approaches for a new year

Olivier Herold

24 January 2022

As I chart a course for 2022, here’s what I will be focussing on as a leader, and as a CEO.

Roots and wings is a concept that I love and which has been part of me forever.

Roots, for me as a leader and a person, are about stability, recharging my batteries and psychological safety. I get that in part from traditions and rituals, those familiar ways of being that provide a sense of positive continuity. In an increasingly VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous) and divisive world, where theres less and less stability, theres an element of me that loves and seeks the familiar and regular. That doesnt necessarily mean habits, or things I do every day or every week. Maybe its those annual highlights in the cycle of organisational and personal life.

Wings give me freedom to explore new directions, find fresh energy and branch out to create new beginnings. Staying in that space of not knowing, letting new things emerge, is difficult (adding more uncertainty), AND it is one of the best parts of growing your wings. I believe people at work need the freedom to do that more than ever right now.

Covid and the post-Covid world have interrupted some of these traditions, giving us all a blank slate to create new traditions. This is exciting and daunting. For example, on-going changes to travel permissions and requirements has meant that some of the regular moments with teams and friends have not happened in the way they usually would for nearly two years. 

Ive decided to embrace the opportunities of this new year as a (relatively) clean slate.

On a practical level, to make room for roots and wings to expand and evolve, Ive also clarified things I dont want to do and what adjustments I need to make, to continually focus on balancing the what” and the how” this year.

Im sure we all recognise how easily we sometimes slip into saying yes, when we know in fact that nois the right answer! Knowing what I dont want helps me to create room to discover what I do want. It would be tempting to settle prematurely into new ways of being, new traditions, but I think Im going to avoid that and instead cultivate the skill of letting the new emerge!

I enjoyed AIM for a Thriving Planet” and agree that when youre able to accept and allow things to be as they actually are, then possibilities emerge. 

As a leader, Im excited to bring that freshness into my organisation this year.