Communication essentials: if anything goes, what stays?

I was picking my high school daughter up from school the other day. Not a lot has changed since I was in school – kids walking in groups, joking around. Guys in football jerseys. Band kids carrying their instruments. But I did notice one thing had changed. One significant thing – the dress code.

Or should I say the lack of one.

I’m pretty open. And really don’t care what you wear or do to express yourself. But … well … this was a little … different. So I asked my daughter and my wife, a high school teacher, what gives?

The answer? Hey, anything goes today.

That comment made me think of the professional world, where so much of what has been the norm is now met with the statement, “Hey, anything goes.” And I say that as someone who has worked from home for 18 months, been Zoom-bombed by my cats, kids and neighbors – all while answering the door for home improvement work that was being done. I get it. A lot goes. It has to in order to thrive today.

But in a (business) world where ‘anything goes’ … you have to counter that by asking, “What stays?” As you prepare for 2022, companies are looking ahead quickly, and rightfully so. But we can’t forget to preserve the core to allow for healthy growth. (As Jim Collins says.) At the heart of that core? Those things that will always be. Your values. Your purpose. How you treat people. And more.

This isn’t a blog to tell you what and how to define those things. It’s to tell you to hold on tightly to them.