A couple years ago, I started writing a year in review article. This year, I look back on our team’s resilience and the adjustments we had to serve clients and make to weather the pandemic.
2020 started off like any other year. We had ended 2019 on a high note and we were seeing our investments in the business really starting to pay off. We had made some significant changes in our portfolio, partner mix, and go-to-market strategy in 2018, and we were seeing the results of those changes.
We started a project in early 2020 with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that leveraged a broad set of Kiefer expertise. We had team members across 3 practice areas working diligently, collaboratively, and creatively to deliver a public-facing web-based solution. The project was finished on-time and on-budget. We were off to a great start and had great momentum.
In February and March, the tone in the office was upbeat. It was normal to have members of our team collaborating in the office and for Kiefer employees to drop in for a Taco Friday. In 2019, we started a tradition of having tacos from Angel’s Kitchen. This was our way of staying connected and celebrating little victories. Many employees have expressed their appreciation for this small distraction that contributed so much to team building.
Pivoting and Adapting
The pandemic caught everyone by surprise. Business as usual was disrupted in mid-March and nobody was quite sure what to expect. We had anticipated that we’d be home for a few weeks and then things would return to normal within a few weeks. Here we are, at the end of 2020, and while science has made some significant strides in a vaccine, we are still working remotely, supporting clients remotely, and adjusting to the new normal.
Many organizations had to accelerate their adoption of tools to support work. As practitioners and experts in the modern workplace, our expertise and experience were in high demand. We offered free sessions with our principal consultants to assist customers in their deployment of Microsoft Teams and tools that enable remote work. This was our way of helping others through some challenging times.
2020 presented Kiefer with an unexpected opportunity, the opportunity to serve clients that are not in our normal geographic service area. We’ve always had the ability to serve clients that don’t require an on-site presence. Those clients can be virtually anywhere in the world, however, it wasn’t until 2020 that customers had an appetite for working with us 100% remotely. The consulting engagements we had clients in Illinois and New Jersey were successful and clients were satisfied. We anticipate that the idea of working with a consulting firm using only tools like Microsoft Teams will not only be acceptable but may be more convenient and cost-effective than traditional on-site engagements. The bottom line, we learned that we can support a client wherever they may be.
In the Community
The pandemic has made it more difficult to do charity work, but despite it all, we still found a way. Kiefer leadership participated in Folsom Community Service Day and I distributed coats in November and December. I didn’t have a drive this year, but still sourced coats and distributed them to those in need over the last couple of weeks.
Appreciative and Grateful
Kiefer continued to service clients and work with new customers over the last year. It is important for me to acknowledge our customers and express my gratitude. We appreciate the opportunity to work with your organizations and to have earned your trust.
This year has been a challenging journey. We look forward to the prospect of a new year, where we can see our friends, colleagues and clients face to face. We yearn for the days when we can stand around our conference room table eating tacos with the team!
On behalf of the Kiefer Consulting family, here is to a happy and healthy 2021 to you and yours!
Happy new year.