What Will Be Your Theme Song for 2021?

Remember the devastating bushfires around Australia at the start of 2020, when we thought that was the worst possible thing that could happen to us this year? Last week, I spoke at a conference for 750 of Western Australia’s firefighters and marine rescue workers. Some of these people and their colleagues had to deal with that first – before we were hit with the global pandemic.

There’s no doubt 2020 has caused massive disruption for so many people in so many ways. As we get closer to 2021, will you continue looking back on the year that was, or is it time to start looking ahead? Of course, there’s value in doing both, but for many of us, it’s a good time to assess what lies ahead.

At the conference, I had two time slots either side of lunch, and I worked with the conference organisers to devise an exercise to get people thinking ahead. I asked the audience:

“What will be your theme song for 2021?”

To get them started, I shared three examples:

  • “If I Could Turn Back Time” – Cher
  • “I’m Still Standing” – Elton John
  • “Happy” – Pharell Williams

We asked them to use the conference app to submit their choices over lunch, and we made it a fun exercise, with prizes for the most creative and inspiring ideas.

We were blown away by the responses, which included some we expected and some we didn’t! Here are some of the more popular choices:

  • “Staying Alive” – The Bee Gees
  • “Simply The Best” – Tina Turner
  • “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” – Monty Python
  • “Tubthumping” – Chumbawamba
  • “I can see clearly now, COVID is gone” – Johnny Nash (well, sort of)
  • “DILLIGAF” – Kevin Bloody Wilson (look it up, but maybe not at work)

What will be YOUR theme song for 2021?

This isn’t just a fun conference exercise!

This year has thrown a lot of challenges, curveballs, and chaos our way – and many people are still working through these challenges. So we can’t just wipe the sweat off our brows, heave a sigh of relief, and put it all behind us. But we can make a start.

In my work, I talk a lot about change, and I often say:

“Disruption and innovation are both about change. It’s disruption when it happens to you, it’s innovation when you do it yourself.”

We’ve had a lot of disruption this year, and it has forced us to be reactive. Maybe it’s time to start being proactive – so we can turn things around.

So … What will be YOUR theme song for 2021?


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