Eliciting Perspective Series: Your New Beginning

By Lara Rosmarin, Head of Entrepreneurial Development

As we cautiously leap into 2021 with reworked goals, fresh ideas, adapted plans, modified objectives, revised agendas and a different understanding of the world in which we live, there are key elements that remain certain and without any customisation. These elements are not bespoke or personalised, new or unique. Perhaps gaining a sense of comfort in their adoption is key to remaining sane, sustained, productive and in a forward motion as the world around us continues to spin?


It persists that to remain relevant and human in what is being termed the 4th Industrial Revolution is critical. As Brad Shorkend and Andy Golding teach in their bestselling book, ‘We are still human … and work shouldn’t suck’, we need to build relevant businesses and exceptional work experiences for human beings in a world that has gone digital crazy. Graeme Codrington the CEO of TomorrowToday Global echoes their belief, “Getting the people stuff right is the most important part of building a better business right now.” Good humaning can make the world of work, well, work.


‘Bouncing forward’, a phrase first garnered by Michaela Haas in her book of the same title refers to the art and science of cultivating resilience. Victor Frankel, a Holocaust survivor, psychiatrist and acclaimed author observed, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” The necessity to build a reservoir of resilience from which we can draw when adversity knocks continue to reside as a constant in the toolkit of certainty. Facing adversity is inevitable because change is inevitable. How and with what are you filling your reservoir?


Joshin Raghubar, Founder and Executive Chairperson at Ikeneo Ventures and Chairperson of the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative board subscribes to the belief that success often begins with understanding yourself. “I’ve been laser-focused on some things, and at other times I’ve had a number of different things on the go. That’s when I’m happiest. You need to know yourself and play to your strengths. If you’re better at focus, do that. I need a few things on the go — not too many because then I get frazzled. But there’s a sweet spot, and I’ve found mine.”


As the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland points out, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” To move forward it remains consistent that we need a vision, a resolution, a purpose, a plan and the appropriate support mechanisms in place. In the acclaimed documentary ‘Chasing the Sun’, Rassie Erasmus the-then coach of the Springbok Rugby team appeals to the players through a cry to action, creating a deeper purpose for the team. With this deeper purpose came a deeper sense of strength, commitment and belief in themselves which ultimately created a victory which was far greater than just a win for the team.


Communication remains paramount. Ian Russel, author of ‘The Other End of the Telescope’, when addressing an audience on the relevant skills for success moving forward argues that, “Your ability to communicate and present will be one of the differentiating things that you do in your career going forward.” On the flip side, he warns against what he terms the build-up of “organisational cholesterol” where once flexible, agile young businesses that were in touch with their customers and responsive to new market demands and tendencies, inventive and innovative become blocked, stifling the ability to grow and expand. How are you communicating and how are you vaccinating yourself and your organisation?


Where, what, when and how we tackle 2021 are up to each of us as individuals, there is no one size fits all or blanket solution for success or a positive trajectory. No magic wand or fairy dust. Success however does leave clues and destinations have roadmaps created by those who have travelled successfully before. In the words of Ahsoka Tano of the famed StarWars Franchise “This is a new day, a new beginning”. Do you concur?