How adaptable is your business in these changing times?
In a world of numbers and high-powered deals, it’s easy to neglect the human side of business. To thrive, we need to do more than talk. At Investec, they do more than interact — they make it their business to understand yours... That’s business made human.
The Working Lunch with Arabile Gumede is a series of intimate conversations that bring experts around a table to engage and interrogate the importance of the humans on the other side of business transactions.
If there's one thing that the COVID-19 era has highlighted, it is the importance of being able to adapt at unprecedented speed in the face of constant change.
To weather this disruptive crisis, businesses have had to challenge the old paradigm and traditional ideas to make business more human as consumer behaviour began to change. As more and more people were forced to become more comfortable with living in a digital world, businesses of tomorrow embraced technology as a core aspect in their agile transformation.
Shaping human relationships through programmable banking
Software development is a profession of the future and, Investec understands this. In their mission to empower software developers in the tech sector, Investec and OfferZen, a developer job platform have collaborated to make Investec Private Bank Accounts 'programmable' so that developers are able to code their own, meaningful banking experience.
This is not the start of an identity crisis.
Investec recognises that it is not a tech company — collaborating with disruptors of the future, enables the bank to tap into software developers' expertise to build solutions that will meet the technological needs of its clients and take banking to a whole new world.
Part of being adaptable is realising that clients are in the power position in terms of defining what the new service model is going to be like and, leaders who are not having sleepless nights about what the future of their business will look like, are probably not living in reality, Maharaj explains.
Deeper connections in a time of no-touch connections
Business of the future is about making deeper connections.
Personal selling was replaced with remote selling. But, while the pandemic has put a virtual barrier between the consumer and the business — technology has given us more opportunities to connect with our consumers and businesses on a more personal level.
Trying to have a deeper connection in a time where there are no-touch connections has meant that businesses have had to engage with smaller businesses in a different way. And, the payment platform Yoco for example, has done exactly that.
Over the last year, we have really had to deep dive into new ways of working and find ways to connect to customers even more. Having this transition has really prompted us to go deeper and we have actually been able to connect with customers that we weren’t able to earlier.
"If I wouldn't have been forced to push my teams together and find other ways, then we would still be doing things the same way and in that way," says Evelien Griffioen, Head Of Customer Experience at Yoco.
Finding a new way of doing business
COVID-19 has been touted as 'The Great Equalizer' — where we've all had to find a new way of doing things, no matter what business we're in.
We have been through a lot in the last two years. There's a consciousness that has evolved during the pandemic that speaks to adaptive organisational culture and a heightened level of humanity that will make businesses better and, technology has helped create that equalizer in the world.
OfferZen's co-founder, Malan Joubert has certainly had to change the way developers and those seeking developers interact in order to move the business forward. He believes that COVID-19 has enabled us to reset that human-level expectation and, the rate of technological adaption that OfferZen has seen from large corporates has reached a point where it will build its own momentum.
"When we talk about how (do) we make things better, looking at skills like software developers who you know are actually going to be at the forefront of driving innovation, moving businesses forward — how do we invest in those types of skillsets, how do we grow those sorts of segments of the country that will actually just supercharge the growth of South Africa?" asks Maharaj.
Creating a future-ready environment
Meaning matters: What we are saying is that companies need to change and that question of like, why do companies drive profit and individuals care about meaning? Joubert believes that people have power and becoming future-ready requires businesses to put those people before profit.
"If you talk to OfferZen's clients, the companies using us to hire, most of them say their biggest challenge is finding the right talent, the right people to drive their mission forward, it is not the capital to drive their growth and that is new — in human history that inversion has never happened before," said Joubert.
In recognising that we have a changing future, it is important to understand that changing times aren't going to stay the same now or into the future. It means that we're going to have to develop just as much as we've developed over the past couple of months.
It's time to catch up, but it's also time to realise that we're not going to always drive the change, maybe we need to accept it and develop that change further.
It is all programmable!
Listen to the full conversation below!
For more information about Investec, visit www.investec.com.