From the Desk of the MD
In the wake of our Presidents’ announcement later tonight, the current circumstances will have most of us scrambling to establish continued short-term strategies for long-term sustainable impact. Nobody has the proverbial crystal ball to provide clarity for navigating the murky waters. As industry captains we find our ships being pulled from port to starboard. These are unsettling times and require us to find unconventional wisdom in unconventional places.
We need to lead from the front collaboratively and provide direction to our people, but the burden of decisive leadership can be extremely heavy when working through, changing information, shifting contexts & realities and unprecedented global uncertainty. Considering all this to be true, I believe, as leaders, we need to create some form of stability and decisive direction. Easier said than done; I know!
A directive (for me) and one worth considering, irrespective of what the external or internal forces are, is to create:
- Genuine value for our customers and stakeholders – which include our staff.
- Co-operative engagement with government in such a way that we honour the laws of the land, but also become participants in policy and governance.
- Teams of leaders that embody adaptability, awareness, curiosity, empathy, collaboration.
- A Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) within our organization that challenges us to be highly aspirational to solve global problems – Is this not extremely apt for the current circumstances? (review my recommended reading list below)
Within my context and reality, I can attest that staying focused on the bullet points above has helped direct all decisions within our organisation. It has helped us as leaders (at all levels of the company) to remain true to who we are and what we want to achieve. We are still who we are!
Our MTP before COVID-19 and after will remain the same:
- To provide access to affordable Quality Education post-school
- To provide Education for Employability to eradicate poverty
The framework might change, the context might change, the cashflow might change, but the intent is still the same – to make a difference in EDUCATION!
Staying true to our mandate has helped us implement strategies in this time that was not birthed from a crisis, but rather a clear directive. Sure, short-term crisis-based decisions were made, but not ones that compromise our long-term intent. Like many businesses out there, moving all staff to remote working and virtual teams with immediate effect was crisis-based, but I believe it did not compromise our long-term intent.
Accelerated tactical plans to enable enhanced access to virtual learning, e-learning, dirty learning and bit learning was done based on COVID-19 Lockdown, our intent however was for creating genuine value for our customers and stakeholders within the crisis, and this is what forms part of our long-term strategies and MTP.
My encouragement to you today is know who you are. Know what you want to achieve and establish how to do that with the relentless changing waters. Yes, the storm is upon us, we did not anticipate the magnitude nor the force of the waves, but you are the captain – you know your ship (Business intent and purpose), your crew (customers, staff, stakeholders) now lead them through this storm charting your true north!
Until next time,
My Recommended Reading List:
Having discovered our motivation (“Why”), and laid out core principles (“How”), we finally turn to “What” we do and how it translates into business success.
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