Yves BonteCEO DOMO Chemicals
Looking back on 2022: Emerging stronger from a crisis
Some words – like crisis – can naturally carry unwarranted negative connotations – thus provoking defensiveness rather than optimism. However, while collaborating with our teams here at DOMO Chemicals to navigate our company through the storm that defined 2022, it reconfirmed to me that one can put a more positive spin on “crisis,” if you will.
Let’s be clear, 2022 has undoubtedly been a year of crisis. The impact of the war in Ukraine has had enormous consequences. Beyond the horrible humanitarian disaster, economic crises are stemming from these volatile times, and recent events are conspiring to create something of a perfect storm. Just as the pandemic recovery appeared to gather some momentum towards the end of 2021, as we reach the end of 2022, this is not the emphatic bounce-back from Covid-19 that most of us had been hoping for.
These circumstances have tested the bounds of our resilience – both corporate and personal – and I’m incredibly proud of the creativity, resourcefulness, and commitment that DOMO and our people have shown during this period. We do truly owe our ability to weather these storms to their extraordinary efforts.
And while these storms may continue to rage, a quick look at the etymology of the word crisis may encourage us to take a more optimistic view as we press forward into 2023.
The English word crisis, originally mainly a medical term, was a latinized form of the Greek word krisis which meant “turning point in a disease” – the moment of change which ultimately decides the prognosis. Krisis also means crossroads or culmination, a state of transformation where the old system can no longer be maintained.
For me, K2022 embodied exactly that optimistic reading of krisis. At this leading plastics tradeshow, which took place in October this year, many of us sensed the unease about the unpredictability and strain of current circumstances. At the same time, we all clearly recognized the path that the plastics and chemicals industry has embarked upon at this unique moment. A decision to prioritize sustainability, green energy, decarbonization, and circularity, and to champion the innovation that will enable those outcomes.
Also within DOMO, our approach to culture, performance, learning and knowledge is being shaped positively by the crises confronting us.
A crisis to connect, collaborate
For instance, throughout 2022 we have enhanced our knowledge and insights across the company based on an inspiring and collaborative effort to accelerate performance. Building understanding across energy-related facets of the business has been particularly important, but not the only outcome. Today we have a better understanding of our systems, our functions and how the whole value chain – from raw material through production to sales – can work together more intelligently. Data and digitalization have been key enablers more than ever before. I am certain that many of our industry peers can confirm that we have all learned a lot.
We have facilitated this collaborative approach through, among other things, Connect sessions. These sessions involve employees, myself and other members of the executive committee and have proven to be an enjoyable and fruitful experience that allows us to listen in order to understand, rather than to answer.
Connect feeds directly into the sort of culture I want to drive – through leadership, company-wide engagement, creativity and accountability within DOMO during the period of crises we find ourselves in. I’m convinced that DOMO has the right strategy to succeed as we forge ahead. Our vision and strategy – especially when paired with our commitment to ongoing learning, reimagining, and reinventing in an ever-changing world – is a winning formula. We will emerge from these crises stronger than before, both as DOMO Chemicals and as the whole chemical industry.
Let us all take the time during the holidays to reflect on how we will emerge stronger from these crises while connecting with those we appreciate the most in tough times: our families. Without the care, respect and resilience of our loved ones, emerging stronger from the crisis would be a much tougher challenge.
I’d like to learn what you think. Will we enter the new year in better shape than before? And what factors will determine this new condition most decisively? Innovation, sustainability, digitalization, data and knowledge? Please go to my post on LinkedIn and comment on it directly. Thank you.