‘No going back as new normal emerges’
Businesses in the Eastern Cape, including the media, need to relook at their operational models and become more people-focused with less micromanaging and more trust during a time of social and industrial change.
This, according to Smarter EQ organisation development consultant Paolo Giuricich, is the new norm which will help propel the economy and business strategies going forward as the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Giuricich was one of the panellists speaking in the first of a series of Business 360 webinars, a virtual platform hosted by The Herald and Daily Dispatch in partnership with StratAstute Consulting and Smarter EQ.
The other panellists were The Herald and Weekend Post acting editor Rochelle de Kock and Daily Dispatch editor Chiara Carter, with the discussion facilitated by StratAstute MD Roshni Gajjar.
Giuricich said he believed the normal nine-to-five business day had become a thing of the past and that micromanaging had become redundant as most people embraced the new normal of working from home.
“From an organisational perspective, there has been an existential crisis faced by everyone — people have been questioning themselves, their community and society.
“It is now time for them to think about themselves and the systems around them,” Giuricich said.
He said two months of working from home and returning to the office had brought change.
“This pandemic has created opportunities to do things differently — it’s now about people and how they are treated — like adults who are responsible.
“We don’t need to micromanage,” Giuricich said.
In the virtual event titled “A responsive business and responsible media — the role of media to help reignite the economy and society”, De Kock said with the proliferation of fake and filtered news, it was important for the media to cement itself as a trusted news source, bringing quality news.
But it was also important to keep up with the ever-changing narrative out there, staying abreast with what audiences wanted to know.
“There is a need for stories of hope during this time.
“The fundamental right to tell news and do so independently is something we are all proud of but with that right comes responsibility,” De Kock said.
Gajjar said in a recent survey covering 34 countries it emerged that 29% of the people who participated chose not to listen to or watch news because of the level of mistrust due to fake and filtered news.
Carter said to avert this it was imperative to include as many voices as possible in a story to give a clear view of the issues at hand.
She also spoke about the importance of building trust.
“We need to get as many voices as possible in a story. Not everyone wants to comment but we need to find that voice so we seek out the voices of ordinary people,” Carter said.
De Kock said as a media business, the pandemic and subsequent national lockdown had placed not only The Herald and Daily Dispatch but other media outlets as well in uncharted territory.
As a business, print publications relied heavily on advertising and new plans needed to be implemented to change the business model.
These included focusing on driving new subscription models and doing things differently.
According to Giuricich, all businesses, including media houses, had to relook at how to deal with the ever-changing ways of doing business in unprecedented times.
“Everything that is emerging means we need to learn more so we must take things day by day.
“Be intentional in how you show up in person.
“There is no going back to the old days.
“The stress of the pandemic is still there but we must take things day by day,” Giuricich said.
The Role of the Media to help Reignite the Economy and Society in South Africa Business 360: Pivoting business strategies for purpose and sustainability A responsive business and responsible media – the role of the media to help reignite the economy and society. o You see the headlines, you follow the social media posts, but in the age of fake news and stigma, what is the role of the media in documenting the journey of Covid-19? What role does the media play in helping to rebuild the economy and society? Join Roshni Gajjar, Managing Director of Strat Astute and Paolo Giuricich, Organisation Development Consultant of Smarter EQ in conversation with the editors of The Herald and Daily Dispatch as we discuss the topic ‘A responsive business and responsible media - the role of the media to help reignite the economy and society.