Dear valued clients, colleagues, friends and family
It’s time to reflect on another year passed. For most of us, this probably wasn’t the year we had imagined. Not the 20/20 vision we had in mind. Yet, besides the clear implications of COVID-19 shattering the world as we knew it, 2020 has had many occurrences that call for some reflection. I’m sure that everyone will have something different to share about what the extraordinary events of 2020 have taught them.
Looking back, it’s quite clear - history never ends. There is no doubt that future textbook authors will write entries on the historic year of 2020. One thing I’ve realised and can confirm about history: “things that have never happened before, happen all the time”. For lack of a better word, “unprecedented” seems to be fitting (despite the overuse [and abuse] of it these past few months). On that note, Oxford Dictionaries has already expanded its word of the year to encompass several "Words of an Unprecedented Year". Casper Grathwohl, its president, said: “It's both unprecedented and a little ironic - in a year that left us speechless, 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other." On a more personal level, the year and the experience of lockdown has been an awakening! For our firm, MGI Bass Gordon, it presented us with the opportunity to get ourselves out of our comfort zones and try new ways of working and doing business.
Our most significant change: our office relocation! It's been our wish to relocate office space for some time. Success, in anything, comes from good decisions, hard work as well as luck. Ironically, our good luck was the lockdown. We now occupy half of the office space we used to; we have become a full technology company with all systems being cloud-based; staff are enjoying more flexibility and opportunities to upskill themselves; and we seem to have solved the Cape Town traffic and transport problem. I don’t think we will ever go back to the normal ways of the structured corporate life. 2020 has made us flexible, agile, and productive, securing our existence and sustainability for the foreseeable future. “We (at MGI) didn’t just change one thing. We’ve changed everything!”
Finally, on my reflection of the year, I need to mention the incredible sense of trust that I’ve experienced. Trust amongst our leadership team to make decisions in the best interest of our business, our people and clients. Trust amongst our staff that they are coping and will ask for help if and when they need it. Trust that we can, and have, delivered excellent service as a remote team. And very importantly, trust that a bit of time away from the screen won’t end in disaster and may result in better results. Despite not seeing our people and partners for many months, I feel a tremendous sense of team solidarity. I am immensely proud of us all. This has really brought home the old adage “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
Looking forward – where to from here? I remain optimistic and believe that the odds of a good outcome are very much in our favour over time. I predict a bit of a rocky road ahead, but at least we know how to prepare for the uncertainties. We can’t just assume that yesterday's success translates into tomorrow's good fortune. One thing is for certain, we are not going back to how we did things before. We will continue to commit to our strong corporate culture and value system in our approach to providing solutions to both our clients and our staff.
To all of you - thank you for your support this year! We exist and can plan for the future, because of you. Have an incredible break and festive season. I am so excited to start 2021 afresh with all of you in our new home!
Only forward from here.