The Viewfinder

Our Long View: How COVID sharpened our 100-year vision

Professional life changed over the last two years. The line between work and home blurred, and suddenly, we saw into each other’s home offices, and into each other’s personal lives. And although we were distanced through screens, connecting on a human level didn’t become a new part of our process, it became a huge priority for us. As we head into 2022, we wanted to share some insights that will shape our “Long View.”

It’s impossible to look ahead without acknowledging what we’ve been through. Collectively, we all wish the pandemic didn’t happen and certainly hope it ends soon, or becomes a manageable endemic, but we’ve still managed to focus on our many silver linings. One rewarding thing we did to help strengthen our “Long View” was to facilitate real old-fashioned face time with our clients. No Teams calls this time. Real in-person meetings, which included touring several cities and checking in with clients and partners. While we typically start any business meeting with light, personal, small talk – this time we made that our focus. We went around the room and asked everyone to share what they learned through the pandemic; and what they were hopeful for.

What we heard were emotional perspectives and stories that were surprising, unexpected and incredibly moving. Many people shared what they lost, sadly some reported losing people close to them. But the majority shared that they felt super resilient and far closer to their loved ones. They had become more appreciative of the role their partners and spouses play, and grew closer to their young and adult children. They were more focused on experiences and less on “stuff” – and more connected to the value of TIME and the impermanence of all of our lives.

These conversations have helped strengthen our roadmap moving forward, which is to become a 100-year-old company. We want Long View to be around for 100 more years. We care deeply about what happens to our business decades from now – even if we’re not even around to be part of it.

While we have obvious business priorities, part of our long view is putting people first. We start by being a good place to work. Then good people want to work with us. Those good people do good work for our clients. So, we grow bigger and hire more good people. Those good people are good to their families and good to their communities. Then those good people have good kids. Their kids do good things. Some of our good people are doing good in the world. And maybe some other companies look at us and they want to be good too.

If we start working towards that now, in another 100 years we will really have made the world a pretty good place. I guess you could say our “Long View” is really about our legacy.

We play the long game when it comes to our clients and partners too. We bring agility, simplicity and insight to their business, and rather than looking for quick-wins, we form partnerships that ensure the relationship is intact tomorrow, next month, next year, and decades later. And we constantly remind ourselves that we are not powered by technology, we’re powered by people. Great people.

As the CEO of Long View, in 2019 I made a bold promise – and that’s to become the most loved technology services company in North America by 2025. (Talk about personalizing work, right?) I want Long View to be loved by our clients, loved by our teammates, and loved by our suppliers and partners. In the throes of global pandemic, that’s a tall order, but one I believe can be filled. We’ll do it by making empathy, insight and gratitude our most valuable business tools, and remembering that some light, personal, small talk can be the start of big things.

I am so proud that the pandemic accelerated our journey to be the most loved. We did what was right for our clients, their staff and our partners. Client feedback is at all all-time high as a result thanks to our people and their approach, which extended well beyond taking care of each other inside Long View.

brent allison sig