Mihai Arghire, General Manager, Brightway®
- What was the most challenging thing your company, people, and you, personally, had to face in 2020?
In our company we saw one of our main revenue (streams, team buildings and events), diminished to zero. This implied a redistribution of employees from one department to another. We had to compensate the loss in turnover with extra work to gain more projects on other business lines that were functional. It was tough, but now we see we did a great job.
We invested a lot in transforming our training programs that are based on experiential learning, in online classrooms that are as interactive and insightful as face-to-face experiences. I hope that this year we will return gradually to more physical and social interaction, but in the meantime, we have great results online. As a fact, we often talk about how online interactions will remain a preferred form of communication in some cases even after the pandemic outbreak ends. Digital transformation was accelerated in the past year, but yes, most people miss the human interaction. I am sure that physical connection will be as vibrant as ever once the vaccine will offer immunity to a significant part of the population.
Me, I have an analytical mind, but I am also a man of action. It was quite an emotional challenge for me to stay so much inside and I had to come up with new exciting activities with my family, obviously applying the safety measures. Every situation has a silver lining. We discovered new hobbies – hiking for example, we got a dog to make staying home more fun and I gave an awesome haircut to my nephew.
- What pleasantly surprised you last year? / What are you grateful for?
I am grateful every day for being alive, for my health and for having amazing people around that make me a better person. As for surprises, I didn’t have many. Even if it was a completely new situation for everyone, I was confident that people would manage to find solutions to live in this new context and to overcome the virus. I tend to take things as they come, to see each day as a new opportunity to enjoy life as it is.
- What are your plans and expectations for 2021?
One of my forecasts right at the beginning of the pandemic was that the end of 2020 will bring several vaccines, launched in 2021 with visible effects for the summer-fall season, when the dimension of the outbreak will no longer be pandemic, but rather outbreaks. So, I stick to it and hope that we will soon have privileges such as safety traveling, going to public events and interacting with people. The virus may not disappear totally, probably we’ll need a form of health passport to prove that we took the vaccine, and we’ll have to periodically do the vaccine again and again. But we shall see. Science isn’t always perfect, but we should trust the modern scientific settings to get over the covid-19 period.
From the business point of view, 2021 will be a transition year, no matter the industry, size or the performance of the organization. Maybe the GDP will reach the level of 2019, probably the unemployment will be a bit higher, but surely people and companies will gain the trust to plan new investments for the future.
My top priorities related to Brightway® are to continue the developing of cutting-edge-learning programs. Minimizing the average time in which an individual acquires a new skill, restarting the team building business department in the second part of the year and investing in technologies that can improve the L&D and HR management processes.
- What do you foresee it will be different this year and what impact it will have on our industry/Romania/your company/your people?
When people go through a major world crisis, they might feel hopeless or even feel that things will never be the same again or how people interact will never go back to normal. History tells us something different. We see that after deadly pandemics, world wars, earthquakes, tsunamis and other tragedies there is a healing process. With the recovery stage people start to connect, work, dance and party just like they did before the disaster. Small things change, maybe they do things a little different, but the essence of being human remains the same. This year will be a year of recovery and also a starting point for going back to a lot of the things we miss.
- What is your message for the ABSL community?
Enjoy every day at its fullest. Don’t forget that no one on their deathbed ever wished they had spent more time at the office, planned more calls or completed more Excel reports.
- What could we do to grow stronger as a community?
Besides having things in common, like values or business activity, powerful communities link people through powerful communication channels. More networking activities and one-to-one meetings through which members get to know one another, surely will boost the sense of belonging to the ABSL community.
- A message for ABSL or a suggestion.
Networking events, focus groups, power teams that have a common goal.