WE have been through a lot. No one has prepared for what came to us. Not even the Giants were ready for it; how much more the dwarfs. No one thought about it. No one even imagined it. But it did happen. Yes, it happened and we were, we are, and we may still be devastated. We all lost some things, somehow. But it is not correct to say that “we are all similarly situated.” Correctly, we can say, “we are in this together.”

Before the pandemic, businesses had one focused goal – return of investments (ROI). Who would not think of that. Unless we are non-profits or foundations or charities, our business goal would always boil down to profits. There is nothing wrong with that. To deny it is a lie.

But the pandemic has awakened everyone, the government, the private institutions, big businesses, small businesses, big and small communities, brotherhoods, religious organizations, families, and peers that the saying, “No man is an island” is indeed true. What started in Wuhan spread throughout the world in just days and months. Realistically, though, our first reaction was to close down our doors. Yes, we literally closed down our doors.

But our altruistic nature sees things differently. We opened our hearts and we voluntarily helped one another. That is the most beautiful impact that came out from the worst situation that we were in. We realized that we cannot be “an island of blessings and opportunities in an ocean of turmoil and pain.”

Today, as the effects of covid19 has slowly eased up, we are coming out as renewed “selves.” We are not going back to where we were before covid19. We are moving forward. There is nothing to go back; as we saw how devastating the effect it can be, if we still follow the same protocols as before. There is no going back. We have to move forward with a better resolve.

With this scenario, what’s best for us? With what we have been through, what’s there for us to do? With what we have been through, how can we be resilient? We always say we are resilient. But how can we be resilient? What is the deeper meaning of even saying that “we are resilient?”

CHANGE is the only permanent thing in this world. We cannot deny change. We cannot ignore change. We cannot allow change to keep us stuck where we are. We must ride with change. Only then can we become relevant, realistic, and resilient; the 3Rs.

TIME is not something that we can afford to buy. No one does; no one can. So, if we do not act now then when? Time is uncertain and we do not know what is in store for us tomorrow. What will the future bring? Covid19 taught us a hard lesson.

So, while change is inevitable and time is uncertain, perhaps the right thing for us to do right now is to review our business plans and see how our story can be retold along with change and time.

Any business plan has a story. There is a beginning and there is that happy ending that we would want to hear, “and they lived happily ever after.” What’s your story? How can you reshape your plan to ensure that somehow it is not insulated but it is amorphous, in the good sense of that word, to the change around us?

As we go along, we will tackle essential business concepts that revolve around the basic elements of any business – purpose, people, processes, and finally our desirable products/services. 4Ps.

  1. PURPOSE. We will see how we can move steadily towards our purpose by discussing on these factors – input, activity, output, outcome, impact.
  2. PEOPLE. We will try our best to understand how we can lift our people to ensure that they, too, grow with our businesses. We remember that people is the backbone of any undertaking.
  3. PROCESSES. We will touch on how our processes can be improved by focusing on what matters most to produce the desirable outcome.
  4. PRODUCTS/SERVICES. We will see how our production of goods or how our services give impact to our communities, our local governments, and the country in general.

It is wrong to presume that only big companies with defined Corporate Social Responsibilities and the activities they undertake are creating impact in our communities. It is also wrong to presume that as SMEs we do not have the accountability to look after our Environmental, Societal, and Governance business model; the ESG model. These are the pillars of building a strong business. These are the foundations of our purpose. These are what makes us “Instagrammable.” We stand out. We stand tall. We gravitate to people. Say “cheese” everyone! Click and share to Instagram.

The 4th Industrial Revolution somehow creates fear of the uncertain. The interplay of the physical, technology, and biological factors has become stronger. The best evidence of that is covid19. But keeping our feet on the ground, we see that we have a bigger challenge before us. How do we ensure that the people who are directly under our care are equipped to face the new demands of this 4th Industrial Revolution in terms of skills, competencies, and means of livelihood?

No one is left behind. That is an ambitious yet very humane goal of the SDG in 2030. But we cannot just sit down and wait and see how the world around us will bring us through so that we would not be left behind. That same question is for us. That question awaits our response; NOW.

How can we be sure that no one is left behind as we go up and achieve our purpose?

The answer is the heart of being a Purpose-Driven Leader. After all, that is what we have been programmed for, to be instagrammably like the One who created us, in His image and likeness; Jesus, our purpose-driven master, a Leader with a heart.