A quick look back at 2020

What a year this has been…

Starting with another great Community Meeting in beautiful Malta; the virus was coming up in discussions, but really, I don’t think we even imagined its impact on all our lives.

Then Europe as a whole went into lockdown, home office was the new daily routine and we had to postpone scheduled Discovery Days in Budapest and London and our dear Summer meeting in Berlin.

Now, the challenge was how to be there for our members, how to continue providing the value they seek in CEO-CF?

They all faced huge challenges themselves, had to re-invent their functioning, their strategy, to pivot their businesses.

We all were so used to interact in-person, to get and give support by being present…

Quite quickly, and thanks to active implication of some members, we managed to organise a first virtual discussion about the psychological and financial impacts of this new working environment on their different companies.

Followed by another workshop about “Personal Data Tracking” in connection with the different mobile tracking apps planned all over Europe.

2 senior partners at McKinsey accepted our invitation to give their insights about how to best restart after the crisis during a 3rd online presentation.

Monthly Trust Group calls have been installed and enjoyed really good attendance. Virtual CEO Challenges have been presented and the groups had lively and interactive discussions on subjects like motivating their remote teams, communicating effectively and on best practices to navigate through these challenging moments.

So, … members got value out it, even if it was “only” online …

In September the planned member meeting in Switzerland had to go online last minute – quite a challenge for the team!

But everyone gave their best and the community could get together for an intense day of collaboration and content (McKinsey came back, this time with “The Great Acceleration”). 13 hours on Zoom and some squared eyes later we were exhausted, but happy to see that it had worked out. And thanks to active member feedback we learned where we could improve.

Videoconferences became a habit and attendance to two other content sessions in Fall, one about company culture and one about the changes in the investment environment, received high attendance and provided new insights and learnings to our members.

The 3rd and last community meeting of the year also naturally took place online and enjoyed a 90% attendance. Random Balcony Time was tried and met great success – to be continued in the next physical meetings. New learnings and trials came up and will be examined for implementation in the future.

In parallel, CEO-CF won a public tender with the National Leadership Centre of the UK government to implement collaboration among UK public sector senior leaders. A fruitful collaboration with many learnings and new experiences has started and will continue in 2021.

We welcomed 5 new members – great additions to the community and we are so much looking forward to meet them in person in 2021 !

CEO-CF also celebrated its 15 years – no big party, but a beautiful collaborative magazine with various stories about these years and pictures to remember good moments was created and sent to all contributors and members. You can even download it here.

With challenges always come opportunities.

We could pivot the community life to virtual for this period before going back to physical events. Thus, existing links were strengthened, and interactions continued.

In 2021 we are committed to organise in-person meetings as soon as travel and other restrictions are lifted. We will start with regional meetings which we assume will be the first possible to allow you members to be in the same place at the same time for real again.

And then go for our usual 3 community meetings in June, September and December!

Stay well, take care and get well-deserved rest over these coming holidays so that we meet you in good shape to start another exciting CEO-CF year together!

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