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2021 is the year to take digital risks

2021 is the year to take digital risks

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Feeling an increasing urge to follow Mr Twain’s recommendation and float away from your current reality, has certainly not been uncommon in recent months! Our past year has thrown up unprecedented challenges which most of us wish we could have run away from at some point.

But looking deeper, we understand that his message isn’t suggesting we take the risk of leaving our whole life behind, it’s an encouragement to try something new. An inspiration to take a chance on a madly brilliant idea and risk failing – for the fortune of ending up succeeding in an amazing way. It’s also a great reminder that even if things don’t go how you plan, whatever happens will provide a great opportunity for learning.

We certainly learned a lot as a company last year and the lessons continue as we move further into 2021. Whilst covid-19 is a daily reminder of restriction, we realised early on it was also an invitation to consider what risks we were willing to take on a personal, or business level to expand, be more flexible and create new opportunities. 

So, like many companies, Pad made some bold changes in 2020 and made some decisions for the business that required taking a chance on something new. We could have sidelined some of these because of fear that change was too risky in an uncertain climate, but knowing that change is constant in this life – and looking at the future as an opportunity for positive change – we put ourselves back at the helm to steer changes that work for us. 

The first thing we did when the pandemic hit was break our own mould. We reshuffled our organisation structure, because we realised that in our new remote working set up we were able to manage things more effectively by doing things differently. We invested in home office equipment so everyone could be comfortable working at home.  Alongside staying super focussed on our sense of purpose, we agreed some new ways to stay connected to our team and our clients and some new protocols for project management. All this – and more – is taking place right now inside any organisation that is leveraging these challenging and uncertain times to reinvent, reshape, and reimagine how they operate.

We predict that the companies that are going to thrive in the Next Normal are responsive, flexible and are underpinned by an unshakeable sense of purpose and an effective communication infrastructure. 

One of the projects for 2020 that stands out for our designer Joe (Who you can get to know more in our ‘Design Q&A blog’.) was John Lyon’s Charity’s Annual Report, as it was such a big step away from the traditional printed report. Moving completely online – rather than a simple PDF that can be viewed online, it was an entire micro website dedicated to their year. The digital report was very interactive and far from the flat corporate pages that many annual reports tend to be. 

Knowing that numbers are the lynch pin for annual report design, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, what we imagined was a way of presenting those numbers in a way that was visual and exciting, while keeping access to the raw data easy. Embedded videos of the year’s projects brought the company’s essence to life and a video from the CEO gave a face to the words that would traditionally fill one of the opening pages. We totally reimagined the whole presentation of the report – capturing readers and investors’ attention with interactivity and animation. 

We predict that changes like this – to the way that information is consumed and shared within business organisations – will continue to evolve over the coming year. Gone are the days of big annual meetings – and how we miss our small face to face team ones! Passing around printed copies of most things will remain a thing of the past for now – be that brochures, reports, press releases or posters. Although perhaps we will have these palpable pleasures in our palms again in the post covid chapter the 21st century – only time will tell. 

One thing we’re certain about is that creating engaging content at a time when we can’t get together to sing and dance about things in person, has never been more valuable. 

Many reports that would usually be printed are being moved online because of the coronavirus situation – and our clients are discovering that this version of reporting not only makes the information more engaging and accessible, it’s actually a multiple win scenario.

Here are 6 reasons why digital reporting will continue to grow in 2021:

  1. Cost – not only to your organisation but to the environment
  2. Interactivity with rich and varied media
  3. Convenience / ease of distribution via digital channels
  4. Transparency 
  5. Editability – changes can be made if needed
  6. Your reputation as a forward thinking company

If you’re dreaming of something different for this year, we’d love to work alongside you and help guide your brand into new unchartered waters.. To find out how, drop us a line on 020 8662 6030… Or email Jon jon@padcreative.co.uk.