Ghosts of a Christmas Post
Just another manic Monday. Having to leave work earlier as Covid-19 restrictions mean no after school clubs are running so I need to pick up my eldest daughter. And then over to pick up my son from his Nanna who picked him up even earlier from Junior school. Back across town to get home. I connect my son on a Beavers Zoom call on the home PC, and hand over my mobile to my daughter on a Guides Microsoft Teams meet up.
If I had said this is a year ago everyone would have laughed. I would have laughed at such an absurd suggestion. But a year has changed a lot, including my IT skills.
It was less than six months ago I clung to my Blackberry even though the ‘A’ and ‘P’ keys did not work! I wrote about sending a Happy Birthday text that became HY which became the proverbial camel. I invested in over 50 styluses, left them everywhere I would possibly go so no excuses and ‘I can’t do this’. Last week I shared a post with a comment. Independently. Liberating in many ways but a slave to social media in another way.
My personal IT transformation has been matched by Purple that was forced to move to remote working overnight (with a skeleton staff in the office). It has driven innovation, creativity, evolved the culture (for the better) and shown what can be done. And differently. At some point in 2021 we will land on a new working balance but being remote has brought us closer together.
Purple staff engagement rippled through Purple Tuesday from #ThumbsUp pictures, fancy dress to an ability to tell friends and family exactly why Purple Tuesday should matter to them.
It would be wrong to view the year simply through rosy tinted glasses. There has been family tragedy. There has been the immense strain of leading an organisation through unprecedented times. There has been absolutely no respite. My only week off included key pitches to Sainsbury’s (who became the Purple Tuesday sponsor) and the launch of our international activity (live from my spare room!). And there has been the wider devastation of lives lost and great businesses (and clients) who have gone to the wall. So many reflections of 2020 are going to be negative but I hope I have focused on some positives and would encourage you to do the same.
The issue of disability finds itself at a 2020 crossroads. The importance of social impact has made it a more attractive proposition. Addressing disability works for customers, for staff and increasingly for investors. Believe it or not, disability is still incredibly niche. Boutique. But organisations are finally waking up and have the power to make it mainstream. Mental health will no longer remain taboo. Assistive technology will become common in digital roll-outs and 22% of the population will not only be heard but listened to.
The fear is the economic crisis might take people’s eyes off the ball. I think not. I hope not.
I don’t want to sound like a broken record but I think the history books will pinpoint 2020 as a pivotal year in the transformation of a more disability inclusive society.
Talking of records. Manic Monday was sung by the Bangles. And written by a bloke called Prince (my final reference to a previous post) who wrote about Purple. A tenuous link but it’s Christmas, so forgive me.
15 December 2020