The Season of Both.

The Season of Both.

The season is changing and it’s not just the temperature and angle of the sun. We’re in a new era, a new environment just now. Call it the Season of Both.

We’re both in the office and not. Both back to ‘normal’ and yet, somehow, not at all. As sellers and executives, we’re both sporadically connected to our colleagues and yet consistently alone in our work, accompanied by only our numbers, hopes and doubts. As managers we must serve and lead both team members clustered around central offices and others firmly entrenched in alternative markets or working from home (or both). And because of the economy, society, the world, we are both hopeful and anxious, motivated and unmoored.

At Upstream Group, we are asking – humbly and curiously – what our role should be in this Season of Both. Why do our customers and community truly need us now? How do we re-express our values and reinvent our mission to create what all of you need most? We are finding answers and developing strategies based on a handful of questions… questions I’d like to share with you today.

How might we help create unique moments of true collaboration and connection for managers and teams? Our workshops and scrums cannot just be lessons or outlines: they must become virtual coffeehouses and cafes, places of reconnection and nourishment.

How might we most generously and helpfully amplify the experiences and perspective of our network today and from our 25 years serving it? We never want to be slaves to nostalgia, and neither should you. But perhaps we can be the ones to say “this thing you’re going through: it’s happened before.” Experiences, scenarios and patterns can help people get unstuck and accelerate solutions. We want to help make that happen.

How might we uniquely contribute to the development of confident, empowered managers who are developing confident, empowered teams? What better expression of gratitude and what better lasting legacy could we commit to? We are challenging ourselves to dig even deeper into our work with managers and to make empathetic, connected empowerment a part of everything we do.

How might we best continue to explore, define and promote equity in our industry? Amid the relative abundance and growth of our business, there should be no second-class citizens: not because of race, gender, age, zip or country code, alma mater, parental status or whether your work is anchored at home or in an office. If we can play even a small part in this fight, we want in.

As we sort out the next generation of our workshops and coaching and our presence with customers and at the events that unite our community, these are the questions that will guide us. We won’t always get it right, but we will stay humble and curious and focused on what we believe are the right questions. We thought you should know that.

Here’s to the Season of Both. We are excited and grateful for the chance to help you thrive in it.