As I write this today I am sitting on a plane on the way to Vancouver. It has been more than a year since I travelled to the west coast to visit branches and see the fine people of West Coast Cooper face to face on the ground.
In September 2020, we closed a deal to acquire two locations on the east coast from HERC Rentals, and I was able to visit for the first time in late September 2021, more than a year after the acquisition.
That’s two return flights, one west and one east, in the space of a year! That is definitely not normal for me as someone who has historically flown between 50,000 and 75,000 miles annually, mostly on business, and always to visit branches and spend time with Cooper people.
I am excited to be travelling again and I hope this is the beginning of a time when air travel, inside and outside of Canada, will become once more part of life’s journey.
But I am also aware that things have changed in the past year and a half, and normal may not look the same as it did before, and I think that’s ok.
We have become very proficient at using technology and coming up with other innovative ways to work together safely as a team. There is no doubt in my mind that we will continue to create ways to collaborate with one another, get our messages across, and advance our business agenda, even as things like air travel become gradually more prevalent in our lives.
Nothing will ever replace the need for and the importance of direct human contact, shaking hands, sitting face to face and sharing our stories, collaborating in the moment at the office or in the field, but we now know there are other methods of working that will continue to be part of our personal and professional tool set as we move into the future.
This pandemic has shaken our thinking and awakened us to a new reality. The care that we have taken to protect ourselves and others from the virus has taken us out of our own headspace and caused us to broaden our thinking about our connection to the world. It has made us step back and examine our choices and understand our responsibility to make more unselfish ones.
Creativity, Innovation, Adaptability, Empathy, Generosity, Patience, and the list goes on.
These are the things that will drive our lives and our businesses bravely into the future. And that future looks very bright indeed.