Is the year ending? We can’t believe how quickly the last two years have gone by. It feels surreal working and living through a pandemic — one for the history books for sure.
Allan & Durga, the founders of Writehaus Asia
We produced a law book with PKWA, ‘Divorce Done Right: A Guide to Family Law in Singapore’ in December.
As each year passes, it seems to go by faster than before. 2021 was no different at WriteHaus Asia. This past year has been full of exciting accomplishments and growing relationships. It also brought us new challenges and adventures as a company. We’re thankful for the opportunity to work with so many great people this past year. Thank you to our incredible clients, who trust us to add value to their work and help them meet their goals. Finally, thank you to our team of “WriteHausians’ and all who contributed to making 2021 a great year!
“2021 was full of exciting accomplishments and growing relationships.”
On that note, we decided to put together lessons we learned the past year. We grew the company and reset and realigned conversations on what we do, how we do it, and our values. We are proud of how a lot of the past year played out. If we are honest, writing these down is simply an exercise in learning what we can do to be better in 2022. We do hope others might find something helpful here.
#Lesson 1 — Change is Important
One of the exciting things we did this year is rebranding our identity, logo, website, and social media (lookout for the new look in January 2022!). It was a long process, which we have supported clients through too, but never truly appreciated how hard it is to characterise WHO we are. It is hard to talk about ourselves and a conversation you don’t typically have. We had to address questions that we would have never thought of before. We had to design our culture and process — we are also big believers in doing something with intent and purpose. We wanted to ascertain that it reflected our values and direction as a team.
So how do we reflect what was being asked of us?
The three-month journey took us on a whirlwind — there were times we weren’t sure if that was what we wanted. It was hard, and it took the patience of everyone involved to define the end product clearly. We discussed plenty to contextualise the changes we wanted to see. We have arrived at a new website, and we are working on a new social media look. While apprehensive about taking the step to rebrand— we trusted it was best to enact change while going through changes ourselves.
#Lesson 2 — Listening as a Team
Listening is the cornerstone of any good relationship — vital to growing a team of dedicated and enthusiastic people. As a fun-sized company, there are many roles we juggle ourselves. We felt it best to keep a lean team during the pandemic and rely on trusted partners to carry out our best work. Yet, while juggling many roles, the stress and pressures of finishing projects mount.
Each wants their views heard, and it can be frustrating to find a middle ground. It is easy to distract from what your team member says when finishing the task at hand. Yet this year, it was about keeping an open mind to ensure we listened to everyone regardless of age and experience because perspective is important. This also showed us a valued team member; anything is possible with dedicated and driven professionals willing to do their best. It offered us great insight into areas of improvement and our strengths.
#Lesson 3 —Building Trust through Work
We came together while staying apart — with work from home being the default for most of 2021 — we found ways to stay connected virtually — most of what we did was via emails, zooms and calls. In a pandemic, manpower resources are precious, and it works like a tight-knit family. We work in tandem to achieve most of our goals. Time management and efficacy of our strategies are measured in how well and fast we can execute a task.
While working remotely, we respected the space and time away — there was no checking in every hour to see if everyone was working. It was a connection based on respect and regard — a shared language and purpose towards our work. The circumstances behind the scenes tell us we care about the work we put out. It is not simply about doing our work in a timely fashion but well. It was a constant juggling act with many things happening, but we trusted that our team had the independence and maturity to handle things.
#Lesson 4 —Growing Ideas
Exploring and nurturing new strategies and ideas is the heartbeat of any company. We felt that this year was one where we focused more on that. Not every idea is feasible and reflective of what we should do, but not every idea is terrible either. New ideas help us bring new capabilities and diversity. With that, we can build credibility and growth for our clients.
While we were dealing with the cause and effect of the pandemic, we realised that the only way forward was to be inventive. Not just with our services but also with our thinking. It was not enough to think and nurture ideas; we had to look at the potential of growing those ideas — how far-reaching can they become? What was the possibility of those ideas? We had to be unafraid of tearing our thoughts apart and taking the time to build them up again.
#Lesson 5 —The Power of Now
Working across a screen presented its own set of challenges — the act of seeing and talking reel life during the pandemic was strange. However, just as Zoom’s steady rise to fame during the pandemic, so did our confidence working remotely. Even when we could meet, many still chose to do remote meetings. The efficacy and ease of having conversations with the flip of our laptops proved undeniable! Yet, nothing comes close to the human connection, one that has eluded us for so long.
How can we encourage diverse ideas & collaboration?
Sharing ideas over a meal or coffee always helps to bring vibrancy and insights. But the reality of our masked pandemic world is something we have to accept — we started to embrace the power of now, a new way of thinking. What areas need solving now? What needs to happen to encourage diverse ideas and collaboration?
Making an effort with clients, partners and associates became our go-to way of keeping engaged. It also enabled us to focus on the work at hand truly. It helps us ask questions that drive action. Instead of worrying about what we were missing, we strive to address today’s concerns NOW.
#What We Are Looking Forward To In 2022
The start of the year always brings around resolutions that influence our actions, at least for the first month of the year. Instead of indulging in unrealistic resolutions, what if we focused on what can be achieved? Here are three areas we will start with!
Seize the moments
As we embrace the new year, we want to bring meaningful change and conversations with everyday people. We are seizing the opportunities and the calibrated moments that arise with the people around our work.
Keep the change train moving
we have exciting new workshops and projects coming up, and we can’t wait for them to launch. Change is difficult, but it is a must. If we always try to be normal, we will never fully realise the potential of what can be.
Moving with times
we don’t believe in making resolutions but staying resolute in our work. We hope for the new year to be one of growth, joy and camaraderie all around! If there is anything that we have learned living through a pandemic is that change is inevitable, but it does not have to define and break us. We can acknowledge the vulnerabilities, embrace the changes, encourage the effort and solidify our strengths to stay bold and relevant.