Farewell 2020 – A note from Natasha Olsson-Seeto


Farewell 2020

I was determined to write this blog without using the words ‘unprecedented’ or ‘pivot’ – but there I go! Who would have thought as we went into the break this time last year that 2020 – a year that seemingly held so much promise was going to bring a once in a generation event that had us all changing the way we work, socialise and live forever.

In February we held a strategy day with loft goals as we headed into our 11th year in business.. with so much to celebrate.. then BAM – COVID hit us all…

Ironically, as I sat with my husband and dogs on the beach watching the sun come up on 1 January 2020, I recalled that my Grandmother used to say – be mindful of what you do to see in a New Year as it sets the scene for the year to come.. so, instead of being surrounded by revellers we were just us and the dogs – and what a prophetic outlook for the year to come that was!  I’m sure all of you with dogs know that they are very happy to have us all home with frequent walks and pats!

We have been so fortunate to all remain safe, and whilst the financial and productivity impact has been significant for so many, as a small business we have weathered well – the support of our faithful ecosystem of clients, candidates, consultants, participants and suppliers has been remarkable.  We have been privileged to lead significant pieces of work and help so many, and to say I’m proud of the OnTalent team through this year of disruption is an understatement.

So, as we look forward with optimism and head into our ‘next normal’ I think about the impact of remote and flexible (or inflexible) work on cultures, on service delivery, on families, on our economy, on our way of life and hope that rather than flexible work, we can bring about ‘culture and purpose’ centred work – where we work to collective purpose, in a way that drives our engaged cultures (whatever they are), supports the purpose of the whole person, the organisation and our society.  How do we put connectedness at the centre of the way we work – connection to culture, customer, purpose, self-fulfilment – for the betterment of our overall prosperity, satisfaction and livelihood.

My work with Foodbank Queensland gives me acute vision of the knife edge of uncertainty so many Queenslanders are living with and provides a perspective that makes me grateful for the opportunities we have had – not mourn the bountiful pipelines that have softened a little.  We are very fortunate to be Brisbane-based. We have watched with great compassion the challenges of our interstate connections, and it’s been our pleasure to support a number of them in different ways during 2020.  We are so excited that the domestic borders have opened up and look forward to visiting in the New Year. 

As we put close to 2020 I’d like to wish you, from our entire team, a restful, connected and very happy festive season – thank you for your support.  Our mission as always is ‘Connecting People and Purpose’ and we look forward to supporting you next year.

Natasha is the Chief Executive and co-founder of OnTalent, with over 20 years’ executive search and recruitment experience (at CEO and board level) – the majority of that time spent in leadership positions. Natasha is a Director on the OnTalent Board, on the National Board and elected Chair – Recruitment and Consultants Services Association (RCSA) in Queensland, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the People, Performance and Culture Committee of Food Bank Queensland and Ambassador of the Brisbane Club.

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