In the beginning of December, hundreds of people at Deloitte Consulting gathered for an online Christmas celebration. Of course, I would have preferred that we could have met face to face, but still, it was great to see everyone – a chance to remind ourselves of the unbreakable team spirit as each of us is getting ready to say goodbye to such a crazy and turbulent year.
To get into the holiday mood, I read a modified version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” out loud – probably the world’s most famous fairy tale after Disney made ‘Frozen’. It’s also a great story of resilience, courage and the struggle against evil – and of course, the ice melts in the end.
In Denmark and around the world, we are also waiting for the ice to melt. We are waiting for times when we can meet, greet and co-create face-to-face again without this virus hanging over our heads.
However, in spite of the hardships there is also a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my home, my health. I am also thankful to be part of a workplace where we always lift each other up, where everyone comes with a can-do attitude, and where people are working so hard to make the impossible possible every day.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article this kind of gratitude IS important. Fostering gratitude in organisations increases levels of appreciations, of self-control and productivity – while also reducing alienation from the group . Gratitude also helps us feel more positive emotions, improve our mental wellbeing, deal with adversity and build stronger relationships. In short, with gratitude we stay more alert, awake and alive.
There are undoubtedly many sources of gratitude in our lives. Here are four that I feel are particularly relevant this Christmas:
One day, we will look back at the corona virus – and we will realise that in the midst of all the economic hardships and personal sacrifices, it also presented us with an opportunity to grow.
When Kay and Gerda finally return home to their village after being saved from the evil Snow Queen, they strangely notice that everything stands exactly as they left it. The old clock says tick-tock and its hands are telling the time like nothing ever happened. But THEY have changed, they are no longer the same – and so will we all have changed once this long winter is over.
Martin is the manager of Deloitte's Danish and Nordic consulting business and has more than 25 years of experience in advising Danish and international companies. Martin is at the forefront of developing a consulting practice across the Nordic region that can assist Danish and international companies on their most complex transformation journeys. This includes a focus on management, the establishment of ecosystems as well as on diversity in professionalism and competence.