The challenges we have faced and overcome in the past 20 years don't always come to mind as we approach each day.
As I speak with clients across the United States and write their stories, I am reminded of how many challenges we have faced and overcome.
What are the challenges we faced and have overcome in the last 20 years?
We began this century with Y2K. Many people don't even remember but there was an almost manic uptick in trying to prepare for the issues potentially faced.
What Is Y2K?
Y2K is the shorthand term for "the year 2000." Y2K was commonly used to refer to a widespread computer programming shortcut that was expected to cause extensive havoc as the year changed from 1999 to 2000. Instead of allowing four digits for the year, many computer programs only allowed two digits (e.g., 99 instead of 1999). As a result, there was immense panic that computers would be unable to operate at the turn of the millennium when the date descended from "99" to "00". ~ Investopedia
We successfully overcame that issue and next faced the dot.com bubble.
The dot-com bubble (also known as the dot-com boom, the tech bubble, and the Internet bubble) was a stock market bubble caused by excessive speculation of Internet-related companies in the late 1990s, a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the Internet.
Most of us have only a cursory understanding of that time because at that point the availability of technology to the general public was very minimal. However, it impacted the job market, investments, and industries far beyond the technology companies who had provided products and services to support the changes to a technology focus.
This was a brave new horizon that most people didn't understand or even want to know about but it impacted our lives.
Most people alive in 2001 remember the day the United States was attacked. History Central reports:
On September 11th, 2001 four groups of terrorists from al-Qaeda, hijacked four aircraft. The first two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York; the third crashed into the Pentagon, the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The first aircraft, American Airlines Flt 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 AM. At 9:03 United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the WTC, At 9:37 American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. tT at 10:00 the fourth plane that was also heading for Washington crashed into a field in Pennsylvania at 10 AM after the passengers attempted to take back control of the aircraft. Those passengers had heard by phone of the fate of the earlier aircraft.
At 9:59 the South tour of the WTC collapsed followed by the north tower which collapsed at 10:28. A total of 2595 including 343 firefighters and police officers were killed in the World Trade Center. 175 died in the Pentagon, and 265 passengers on the planes died.
We were all saddened by the events of 911 and it will remain a memory that impacted everyone alive on that day.
The challenges we faced and have overcome with the pandemic
We are still in the middle of one of the greatest challenges that impacted the United States and the globe - the Covid19 pandemic. Lives lost, businesses lost or interrupted, families separated, and overall tragic circumstances.
Innovation still grew throughout this difficult time and companies, as well as people, learned to pivot. The strategies we created will have continuing applications in the future. McKinsey suggests that prioritizing innovation today is the key to unlocking postcrisis growth:
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life, from the personal (how people live and work) to the professional (how companies interact with their customers, how customers choose and purchase products and services, how supply chains deliver them). In our recent survey of more than 200 organizations across industries, more than 90 percent of executives said they expect the fallout from COVID-19 to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years, with almost as many asserting that the crisis will have a lasting impact on their customers’ needs.
I could continue with multiple examples of the challenges we faced and overcame in the past 20 years. For those of you wanting more examples, History Central compiled a list of the major events in American History in the 21st century.
Why it is important to look at our history
Real history accurately recorded is critical to understand the future. In addition, we easily move on to the next event or crisis and forget what we learned. The lesson is that we did learn and can learn.
As I work with clients across the United States, I learn more about the details of how these events impacted finance, technology, healthcare, communications, supply chain, consumer packaged goods, industrial, pharmaceuticals, retail, and manufacturing. None of us can predict the future but all of us can learn from history.
I work with people who are on the front lines of innovation in multiple industries and as I tell their stories, I learn more about the impact of every event in our lives. It comes down to overcoming obstacles and creating solutions even in the hard times. Learn more.