Look Ahead: Build Business 2020 and Beyond
What a long strange trip it’s been. In early March, I wrote a version of this article to promote Build Business in the Sneak Peek issue in April. The conference committee had finished selecting sessions, and SMPS was ready to post them to the conference website. I returned from a business trip to El Paso, visited a local client on Friday the 13th, and then the world stopped. Or started to spin at a dizzying pace, depending on your point of view.
This has been a year of change for everyone, including SMPS. As the conference committee worked through the early days of COVID-19, SMPS launched its “Pivot & Focus” campaign as a platform to share relevant content to help everyone through the constantly changing business landscape. As we reimagined Build Business (a few times) during April, May, and June, it became clear that the conference needed to go virtual based on the uncertainty of holding an in-person event. With that decision, we also realized the content should align to the “Pivot & Focus” theme. After all, that’s what we’re doing in our jobs. This new conference format reflects the need to be agile and embrace change.
Along the way, two terms emerged for SMPS and for member firms: business continuity and business resilience. During challenging times, we need to respond individually and collectively to stay on course. Business continuity and resilience require us to answer new questions, ones we hadn’t asked a year ago: How can we maintain, or deepen, client relationships with limited travel and face-to-face contact? How can we keep our employees engaged and productive when working remotely? How can we sustain a high level of collaboration and quality in a virtual environment?
And in my day-to-day life, I couldn’t help but ask, “How am I going to make it through this week?” or “What could possibly happen next?” Does this sound familiar? This year’s conference will help you answer these and other questions for yourself and your firm.
Wally Hise, P.E.
Build Business 2020 Committee Chair
Sr. Vice President, HDR