We launch our 2021 Programme reflecting on a year that will have far reaching consequences for businesses worldwide. This time last year we anticipated a synchronised global economic slowdown, continuing political fallout from Brexit and a trade war between China and the US. All those events were dwarfed by the global pandemic. If ever there was a lesson in Radical Uncertainty, this was it.
Some companies were more fortunate than others in terms of the impact on their business. At PARC we pivoted from hosting physical events to running interactive online sessions, looking at how companies could re-think their businesses and boost their performance as they emerged from the lockdown.
Similar themes will continue to feature in PARC’s 2021 programme. While some of our meetings will return to a more traditional format, we recognise that, for many members, the virtual sessions have made our content more accessible. We will therefore continue to run some events online.
We will also run a series of online peer exchange events (normally from 12.00 – 13.00, UK time) featuring shorter speaker inputs and more time for members’ exchange of views. We will decide on the subject matter of each peer exchange event closer to the time, which will enable us to respond to developments over the course of the year.
We anticipate another turbulent year with the continuing fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Governments will face much higher levels of debt, the challenge of raising productivity, flatlining GDP and disappointing tax revenues. Few are forecasting world GDP to return to pre-pandemic levels much before 2024. Parts of our economies will effectively be on life support for some time to come.
With these challenges in mind, PARC will continue to provide an essential networking, exchange and research opportunity as we consider the impact of these developments and their implications for HR and reward practice within our organisations.
Mike Haffenden, Phil Wills and Karen Clark