By: RDG Senior Counsel Rob Radcliff
What a roller coaster we have been on the past few years. I’ve been thinking a lot about 2022 and what to expect – what do we know, what do we think, what can we control? What I have concluded is that it no longer makes any sense to try and project the economic future; sure, trying to understand trends and stay in front of them is still a solid planning strategy, but if the past two years have taught us anything it’s that the only thing we know for sure is that we don't know anything for sure!
In March 2020 we entered a long, dark tunnel of economic uncertainty – this “Covid thing” immediately impacted us all in profound ways. Was it going to be a six-week event? Six months? A year? No one knew and I dare say we still don’t know. Here it is almost two years later, and we are still dealing with a global pandemic of epic proportions.
In March 2020 we all “went home”. Again, we didn’t know if it would be for days, weeks or months but business models everywhere were turned on their heads. Fast forward to January 2022 and Work from Home is still the rule of the day. According to recent data, almost ½ of the full time US workforce is still working remotely AND the data also shows that in most cases, remote workers are more productive and enjoy being at home.
In March 2020, while the world was trying to understand Covid, the energy sector also experienced an historic downturn. There is a plethora of predictions regarding significant disruption long term in the energy sector, driven by many factors but certainly climate change being one. What we know is that the future price of WTI oil hit -$37.63 (as in negative) in March of 2020 while today Energy leads the S&P 500; no one predicted that! In many ways, energy serves as a metaphor for many economic sectors and the inherent unpredictability that has seemingly become the norm.
Since March 2020, the CDC has changed their Covid related mandates so many times it makes your head spin. I suppose I could start and stop here!
I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear – it has never been more difficult to accurately predict our future. So, what do we do? Control what we can control and by doing so, position our companies and organizations to best withstand what we know will be on-going economic uncertainty and disruption.
Subscribing to that theory, here is one thing we KNOW is going to happen for RDG in 2022:
RDG Leadership Transition to take place in the next few weeks, or as they say in the movies – out with the old and in with the new!
We announced last fall that long time Principals Clint Nessmith and Matt Chambers will be taking the RDG reins early in 2022. I am so excited to see what the future holds for these innovative and inspirational emerging leaders. Clint, soon to be Chief Executive Officer, has proven his mettle over numerous investment campaign and consulting engagements with some of America’s greatest Chambers and EDO’s. Time and time again, he brings projects to the finish line on time and under budget. His methodologies have set the standard at RDG for years now.
While taking on increasingly more complex projects, Matt, who will become Chief Operating Officer, has infused our firm with forward-thinking creative concepts that are influencing strategies and tactics in all of our client engagements. The future is very bright for RDG in the capable hands of these two leaders.
As for Mike and me, well, we’re not “going” anywhere! As Senior Counsel, we will continue to manage projects, consulting engagements, and generally be involved as much as needed to ensure an effective transition and strong future. I can say, however, I am very much looking forward to not worrying about our pipeline, cash-flow, accounts receivable, and the many other myriad of little challenges one deals with on a day-to-day basis in a company like ours!
As we all look to 2022, my best advice is to strap on your seatbelts because it is going to continue to be a bumpy ride. Nevertheless, by focusing on those things we can control, we can all do our best to make sure the ride is exhilarating and perhaps even awe-inspiring!
PS – Clint and Matt will be representing RDG for the first time in their new positions at the upcoming IEDC Leadership Conference later this month. Be sure to register and see Clint as one of the speakers!