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  • Sailing through changing winds

Sailing through changing winds

08 February 2021

Sarah Afker , Partner - Tax Services |

One of the most striking lessons from the pandemic is that “necessity is the mother of all invention”, the pandemic has driven us all to think out of the box and adapt to the elusive changes around us. Much has changed from the way we functioned a year ago with the rigid brick and mortar model, long commutes and nine to fivers. We have seen technology drive our work lives, communication and made us more agile beings.

Organisations have been forced to think on their feet and respond to the stakeholders. Gone are the days when we had the luxury of waiting for ideas to be generated and tabled at periodic board meetings before they can take off. Delays stifle innovation and result in a loss of competitive advantage. In this backdrop, it is essential that organizations empower people and promote an innovation culture across the board.

Technology is the future. I remember back in school we would write redundancy as a disadvantage of having computers since technology would be used to replace people. As sour as this sounds, the future is now and the pace at which technology has boomed over the pandemic has put more people out of jobs than we could fathom. For example, virtual meetings have eliminated the need to have someone serve snacks over meetings or keep a diary of boardroom bookings. Hence, while organisations rationalize their processes using digitization, employees need to upskill themselves to be future ready.

As organisations struggle to sustain themselves, their supply chains and rivals are struggling too. Through collaboration and capitalising synergies, organisations would be able to build a sustainable business model, create value and have stronger beneficially relationships with their stakeholders. We are in this together and we must strive together to succeed.

While we are grounded and blessed with more time look around our environment, we need to introspect with what we have done to her. During the lockdown, we witnessed her heal and reality struck, that the planet was healing from the damage we had caused. There were plenty that realized the importance of cultivation, agrarian development and became more aware about the carbon footprint. Organisations should now consider being the torchbearers of substantiality by focusing on the triple bottom-line instead of shelving it for later. Yes, you need profits to sustain your business and people, but you cannot shy away from your responsibility to the planet that houses you.

The changes are drastic than dramatic and those who thrive in the chaos are those who can adapt swiftly. It is our responsiveness and agility that determine our success as people and organisations. It is perhaps apt to say that “necessity is the mother of all innovation” as well.