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ATD Blog

Benchmark Your Pandemic Self

Monday, July 11, 2022

The ripple effects of the pandemic are still with us. But it is not too soon for us to learn from our experiences. As busy as you are, take a moment to reflect. What do you feel most proud of? Where did you innovate or move things beyond what you have ever done in the past?

The pivot you made was phenomenal. You were agile, fast, and innovative. You abandoned complexity and bureaucracy. You created your own new best practices. Now is the time to make them permanent and to keep innovating.

Yes, you leveraged technology. You went virtual. Benchmark that for sure. But that is just a small part of how you changed. Benchmark the rest as well.

You went deep. You connected everything you did to purpose, values, and mission. You thought about culture and how to reflect and reinforce it in everything you did and every product and service you produced.

You found the critical few. You determined how to do more with less without compromising the service you provide. You became more strategic about use of resources (money, people, and time.) You cut out process steps, made things simpler, and eliminated old rules. You stopped doing a lot of things that had grown to be a part of how you worked and discovered you could be great without them.

You got more flexible and agile. You had plans B, C, and D. You got in the habit of adjusting. You thought less about the traditional roles of your team and more about who could do what needed to be done. You reached for resources wherever you could find them, and you forgot about organizational boundaries and job descriptions. You reimagined job descriptions and the old expectations they carried and discovered new utility players and new resources.


And what you did wasn’t just virtual; it was micro and individualized and experiential. It was easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to use.

You emphasized speed. Good now became more important than great later. You experimented and iterated. And you learned a lot—quickly.

You found new partners and new ways to collaborate. The teams you worked with changed, adding brand new and more diverse partners, and you joined teams you had not been a part of before.


You listened. You communicated more and more often. You were transparent. You were candid about what you knew how to do and about what you had to figure out.

In everything you did, you accounted for concerns about safety—the safety of those you served and of the members of your own team. You took care of your team and of yourself.

You embraced work-life balance in a new and more complete way. You focused on what was important for you to do to remain physically and mentally strong and resilient.

You were already on this journey, but you’ve come further than you might ever have thought you could.
Benchmark all of it. And use what you learn to go forward and not go back.

About the Author

CTDO Next is ATD’s premier membership for talent development executives who want to shape the future of the profession. This network of global learning leaders is passionate about transformations that affect the field. Through the work of CTDO Next, members explore a variety of forward-focused topics with the goal to take a position and lead the profession. Learn more at

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