The year 2020 started with great expectations from individuals and businesses, with most of them having well-thought-through strategies for the year.
Businesses had drawn their plans for the year, the people they would use and technologies they would deploy, but by March this year, most strategies were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought economic activities in the world to a standstill.
Businesses have, therefore, had to review their strategies to fit into what has been described as the new normal.
It is for this reason that the Springboard, Your Virtual University, hosted the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Enterprise Group, Mr Keli Gadzekpo, to talk about personal strategy and offer some practical tips on how to stay on top at all times.
Sharing his experience at Enterprise Group, he said, “We have a practice of starting our planning for the next year very early, so by July/August we begin to get a sense of where we want to go; and 2019 was not different so by July we started, moved through different processes and by October we had come up with a new five-year strategy.”
“We were proud of ourselves because we had new things in the box and we wanted to do better, got the board to approve the strategy by December and we were raring to go by the time the year started, so the beginning of our 2020 was solid until March when the virus struck,” he noted.
He said the management of the company, therefore, took a break and analysed the five-year strategy, after which they realised that there were elements within the strategy which could help them cope in this period.
Mr Gadzekpo said at the core of its five-year strategy was to digitise its operations.
“The timeline was not as present, as we were giving ourselves two to three years, but once COVID-19 struck, we ramped up and before we knew it, about 75 per cent of our staff were working from home, and we are trying to move it to around 85 per cent.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being disruptive, had its own opportunities.
He noted that the pandemic had become a catalyst for thoughts and ideas that were planned a long time ago to be accelerated.
“Our Enterprise App was launched last year so the moment we had to close our Enterprise market, we now began to drive the traffic through our Enterprise App and the same with many other digital platforms.
“Our employees had started talking about working from home at Enterprise before COVID-19. We were not going to do it as urgently as now. It has been a bit disruptive but we are seeing great opportunities in it,” he stated.
He said meetings were also now shorter and more effective, with quality contributions.
“I think there is also an element of people being in their comfort zones speaking their minds clearly than if they are reading body language during board meetings,” he said.
Business of mitigating risks
Mr Gadzekpo said this period had been one of the most vulnerable moments in history where people were wondering about their health, businesses and jobs.
“We are in the business of mitigating risk at Enterprise, that is our core business and so when you are in trouble, we want to be there for you; so you can imagine. This has to be easily one of the most vulnerable moments in history when people are wondering about their health, businesses and jobs. All these areas are opportunities for us to make a difference and to be the advantage that people see.
“We are here to give peace of mind first and foremost. We think about the individuals because when the individual unit is strong, then the building blocks will also be strong. So with health, in our life business, we are able to offer you additional cover not when it comes to health only but particularly life cover.
“When talking about jobs, what if this situation leads to losing a job? So all these lead to specific products to speak to those vulnerabilities, so that is what we are in business for,” he explained.
Strategy to end year well
Sharing his one big strategy to ensure a successful 2020, Mr Gadzekpo urged businesses to build and maintain a stronger relationship with their teams.
“You need to have passion, establish and maintain strong network and anchor yourself strongly in God,” he stated.