Starting Fresh & Looking Forward
You’ve heard the phrase “If I knew then what I know now...” It’s a chance to imagine how our current lives might be different if we possessed the insight or wisdom that we’ve since acquired. Maybe we apply this phrase to something in our youth, to the earlier days of our careers, or simply after starting and making progress on a new project. In some cases, it’s not so much something new as it is just additional emphasis and prioritization of certain values based upon our experience of life events.
Rarely though do you actually get to “go back” and apply this information to relive, reexperience, or change an existing outcome. Until now.
We all have a unique opportunity from the COVID-related disruptions, both personal and professional, to apply those lessons in real-time as we reenter whatever we thought was “normal” before. Reopening and returning to “normal” is happening at a rapid clip, much more rapidly than I had anticipated. Before we all jump right back in, I encourage you to take some time to reflect. Set a timer, maybe 25 minutes, and write down 3-4 impactful things you learned through the pandemic that you’d like to take with you going forward.
Here at Heartland, there are several key things we are taking with us as we reset to “the new normal” for the 2021-22 school year.
1.) Taking care of our team members
Our first priority is making sure each and every team member feels appreciated, supported, and valued.
Our individual team members make us who we are as an organization. They are the ones who show sincere concern for you all, help solve unique problems, and think critically through the most difficult challenges. We can write all we want about who Heartland is, but in the famous words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you’re saying.” Our team members and the experience they deliver is ultimately who we are -- we take care of them so that they can take care of YOU.
2.) Solving your unique challenges through completion
We measure our stats just like everyone else: cases opened, cases closed, how long it took to resolve a case, etc. And technology self-help tools are important too. However, there is no substitute for being able to speak to someone who is going to listen and understand your challenge, is knowledgeable about your Heartland technologies, and who will make sure your problem is solved through completion.
You are way too busy, you are likely understaffed, and you don’t have time for something not to work or worse yet, to not have someone fully understand what doesn’t work and how it should be fixed. When it comes to your technology, we’re here to help and make sure your individual case is fully understood first and then resolved to (and hopefully beyond) your satisfaction.
3.) Continuing to invest in current technology
As a technology company with a widely distributed employee base, serving more than one million school administrators and parent-users every day, we believe that technology needs to be there to make things inherently easier, more seamless, and more supportive of sudden pivots. In our world, we see the greatest need for providing and using technology that is adaptable, easy to use, secure, and accessible through one login - both for simplicity and greater security.
If the last 16 months have shown us anything, it’s the incredible importance that technology plays in our lives -- in getting meals and essential items delivered to our doorsteps, in helping us work and learn from anywhere, and in connecting with colleagues, friends, and family. Technology changes are happening now faster than ever. It’s important to have products that are built with current technology, ready to take advantage of even newer technologies, that are intuitive to use and ,most importantly, secure.
These are just a few areas that crystallized for us during this past year. Thank you for your business and we look forward to making a fresh start in the new school year together.
SVP & General Manager