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  • Gunjan Syal

Redefining Balance

Updated: Jul 1



Last year, I shared how I complete an annual audit of my professional mission, core values and the OKRs. This process helps me objectively review new learnings and situations holistically each year. Then, align the specific mission and passions for the upcoming year. Determined to live-by-design with my core values, I have perfected this process to ensure efficiency and measurable success.


Before the pandemic, my professional mission had remained largely the same for many years. It was to identify and solve the most impactful problems, specific to each client firm. I had scaled this mission by creating a transformation-focused business model. By December 2019, I had supported 24 unique client firms in 9 industries.


Over time, the annual audit highlighted many situational trends and common conditions of success. These appeared to cross the industry, organization size and business model constraints. I began exploring these deliberately in 2019. I would form hypotheses, test them and collect data during real-life professional situations (I know what you’re thinking…fastidious!). While I was on this adventure,


Enter Stage Left: The PANDEMIC!!!

Like everyone else on the planet, the pandemic sent everything topsy-turvy for me at both personal and professional levels. OKRs went out the window. There were more than a few hair-pulling days. Followed by the time spent exploring ‘random directions’, including the most efficient ways to sanitize everything in-sight! I now have a half written sci-fi novel and a few ideas for AI-enabled music videos (…*shrug*…). I felt unbalanced and direction-less.


I began volunteering with local small businesses and other charities. This provided ample opportunities to continue my pet project (the sci-fi novel and music videos will have to wait…).


As the pandemic brought everyone online, I also met subject matter experts and professionals from all over the globe. The conversations took on a macro view as we compared our specific successes and failures. We also discussed each other’s industries and compared notes. I began exploring the roles played by various industries and specific businesses, in the pre-COVID economies. Then, extrapolating and studying what seems to bring them back on the path to recovery/ sustainable growth.


The answer was:

  • focus on understanding unpredictability towards resilience,

  • ensuring customer alignment at all times, and

  • faster time-to-market.


I explored this further at both macro and micro levels. For instance, what business models, ecosystems of stakeholders, leadership-styles, data and technology enabled growth in specific situations. I realized that this is what the small, medium and large businesses needed at a global scale, in the context of their specific geographies and customer-base. My findings took on the form of a framework. After testing them with medium-to-large clients in 3 industries, I shared the framework during a June 2020 IDEAS event. This led to launch of the ‘transform this’ movement with some colleagues in July 2020. We now have a global online stage and host discussion circles almost each week. The goal is to share knowledge, experience and best practices, with focus on how technology can offer accelerated growth.


As the COVID situation developed in Ontario, the government outlined corresponding safety measures for the businesses. I was also honoured to join Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and Vaughan Chamber of Commerce on a number of occasions during this turbulent time. I shared implications of the recent industry and consumer behaviour data and practical strategies with the Canadian small business community. Among other things, we discussed:

  • how to build trust with the concerned customers,

  • small-business impact from the remote work movement, and

  • a mental model to assess how the technology could help, when market unpredictably changes.


A New Mission

This kind of experience and knowledge-sharing is needed to build, transform, and scale businesses towards the global economic growth. With this realization, I have evolved my professional mission. I am redefining it from a transformation-focus to a broader view. I will still seek the ‘the most impactful’ problems; now with a macro context. I will offer professional services as a strategy advisor to the small, medium and large businesses towards sustainable success.

Gunjan's interactive profile
Interactive Version: https://www.goemerald.ca/about-gunjan

Over the next little while, I will re-balance the objectives for my consulting practice and ‘transform this’. I feel professionally empowered and blessed with many new global peers. At the same time, I feel the need to redefine balance at a personal level. The pandemic highlighted many personal and self-care items, which are demanding attention. This is why I am adding the word, ‘balanced’, to my core values as a deliberate reminder. I have already begun this journey in small ways by obsessing over terrariums, instead of screens.


We could all use a little more balance in our lives after this crazy year. Feel free to reach out for a chat and share your approach to it. We can inspire each other!


Mission (2020 onward)
  • Build, transform and scale resilient businesses. Tackle unpredictability with strategy, leadership, data & technology.

Core Values (2020 onward)
  • Authentic

  • Trusted Partner

  • Accountable with Autonomy

  • Collaborative

  • Simplify & Innovate

  • Balanced & Sustainable

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Reach out to me for strategy, governance, planning support on your post-COVID innovation initiatives.