The Big Dance — Normally when I hear that phrase, I think about college basketball being on the big stage of the tournament, but it became my theme for 2020. Before this year, I thought I knew what it meant to innovate and create, and now the dreaded word of a pivot, but I did not. These past 10 months have brought fear, failure, success, pride and confidence that neither I nor my team knew they had inside.
When we started 2020, we said, “This is our year,” and then March Madness happened, but it had nothing to do with basketball. We were preparing for our summer ahead when it all came to a sudden stop. We had to think fast, with purpose and strategy. In order to keep the ball moving forward, we had to be creative and think outside the four lines of a traditional playing court.
We dug in and reset our goals to match the climate to truly help girls continue to build their confidence in tech and computer science skills. We knew our purpose of connecting the real world to computer science was more relevant than ever with the immediate move to digital platforms. Therefore, we had to show up every day and tackle each day of the new norm. And I mean tackle the day — this pandemic has been a series of play changes, heartbreaking losses and a few slam dunks.
The span of one day could include a successful drive to the basket followed by a gut-wrenching miss and the adrenaline rush of emotions to match. As we approached the summer, or what felt like was the second half, we dug in again and went on the offensive instead of the defensive, which helped change our direction. We evaluated our team and our roles to be more efficient, finally implemented streamlined systems for better communication and put down goals that would truly move our mission and bring impact.
Through the ups and downs of this year, we adapted and learned to step into our purpose, celebrate, grieve and play ball. “The Big Dance” is hard but the reward is worth the struggle. Showing up for our girls and the outpouring of support from our community gave us hope and strength.
As we move into 2021, we know we can move through any block or screen that comes our way because we bobbed and weaved our way through 2020 with the integrity of who we are as an organization. We are ready for 2021 with the right team and systems in place and a renewed dedication to our work.