01 May 2020

Less Predicting. More Doing.

What an unpredictable and often unnerving time we are currently living in. The rate of change, and the pace at which we are currently working at to keep up with that change, is extreme. Coupled with high levels of general anxiety as we try to predict what stage we will go into next, what the President will say, how badly the economy will suffer, and ultimately what our futures will look like.

Seth Godin puts out a newsletter daily (we suggest you subscribe), and this one jumped out at us particularly as we (brave clients included) spend a considerable amount of time trying to straddle both those immediate reactive measures required and necessary during this time, and a proactive approach to doing business unusually and yet sustainably.

He said “When predicting the future, there are two things to note:”

  1. We do it all the time. Constantly.
  2. We’re terrible at it.

We spend our days guessing how an action will impact the future, and we’re often wrong.

And we spend the rest of our days hoping we were right or worried that we weren’t. We try to control the future by telekinesis and anxiety in equal measure. When the future doesn’t cooperate, we spend even more time trying to change the next bit of future so that it ends up more closely matching the future we were hoping for.

So. While the future is taking care of itself then, what should we be doing?

All that’s on us is to do our best work. Paying attention to best practice models and the community and people we serve.

We do this by:

  • Ensuring your values continue to evolve to reflect a desire for optimisation of the self and of the community.
  • Refocusing your strategies on creating meaning for consumers.
  • Triple check that our tone, our voice, and words are authentic, and a true reflection of the brands we represent and the world we now live in.
  • Add value not noise. The media and our social media are flooded with sameness. When you say something, ensure that it provides a different perspective, and allows the reader to think.
  • Where possible, LEAD. Our country is desperate for thought leaders. And in the time of a pandemic and a massive economic decline, provide insight, thought leadership, and optimism.
  • Do. Do something. Anything. Remember that often “good” – is “good enough”. Getting yourself paralysed in doing or saying something perfect, often results in doing nothing at all – which ultimately defeats the purpose.
  • Be human. State the obvious, make mistakes, apologise, get up, keep going and move forward. We can all relate to that, and we find it endearing. As endearing as we found our President and his mask scenario:)

We’re not fortune tellers and we have no idea what is written in the stars, however, we can tell you this…
The spirit of South Africans will prevail – through our resilient nature, our hustle, our ability to laugh at ourselves and rallying for our community, our innate need to help those in distress, our fighting spirit, our generosity, our experience, and our perseverance.

This will see us through. This will set us apart. This is what truly matters in the end.