Trends and Opportunities for a New Normality
We often hear about how the world has changed since COVID-19. The way we understand our day-to-day operations and our interaction with people has turned 180 degrees.
Remote work became our new normal. The dining room turned into our kitchen, the sounds of the house would be the new guests on our work meetings and the computer camera our new mirror.
Digitization did its thing. It took over everything and evolved to such an extent that leaving home, in addition to not being an option, was not necessary either. It was not necessary because with the click of a button you could schedule the delivery of anything, from an unnecessary purchase, to the week's food needs, there would always be someone who could deliver everything to you in the comfort of your home (remember this idea because we will come back to it later).
While we lived these moments in front of our computers, our smartphones, televisions and desks, industries were collapsing and supply chains were breaking week after week.
It was difficult for everyone, but I want to share that we, at Mazda, had one of the best years in the company. I remember someone asked me what we had done, what was the strategy, how did we manage to maintain ourselves so that our dealer network did not lose money? The answer was easy: it was thanks to our people.
While digital instruments grew and grew, we decided to grow along with the only tangible element that can represent us as a company: people.
People were, are and will be the true trend and the only opportunity, no matter how big or small the risk is for humanity or companies.
Investing in people is the only real long-term investment that will genuinely enrich everything we do, as companies and as human beings. Helping those who help us grow our businesses not only makes it easier for us to empathize with the growth and natural evolution of the company, it also helps us become close to our teams, who will therefore feel appreciated, valued, and above all, will understand the relevance that their work constitutes for a business.
Do you remember what I told you about digital purchases and how in one click we had everything we needed? Well, it is thanks to people that we can have everything "in one click." We cannot believe that things happen by magic; we must remember that there is always a person behind a process and that person in turn represents a family.
One of the reasons why I like working at Mazda is because all processes always have a person in the middle; "from humans to humans" is our internal motto, because we know that everything we do directly affects families and entire societies and it is for this very reason that we must always think of new ways to add something good to the planet, society and people.
Today, the world needs everyone, which is why adding people of all genders, abilities, ages, cultures and types of thinking not only enriches the work environment of companies, it helps to know ourselves internally even more as human beings who must think about how to do good among themselves, at all levels.
As businessmen, we often think like strategists, always looking to the other side of the bridge, looking for the result, but we must remember that the results are nothing more than the consequences of a well-attended business and like I said before, businesses are people. Without a doubt, we must think about the customer, but not before remembering that our true customers are our employees.
Investing in our people, in their growth, their education and giving a vote of confidence to their ideas is always the best strategy to keep a company alive in every way.
I faithfully believe in technology, but for me it must function more than anything as a help tool for our teams and our companies.
We must be leaders who guide the team from a different place, since we are the ones who must act as agents of change within our companies and see beyond the processes. Yes, all of them are important; however, it is even more important to listen to our teams, helping them grow and giving them the tools they need to always be bigger and better.
In a culture where digitization is everything, it is important to remind our teams of the importance of “being, of being there for others and working in tandem, head-on. Remote work" has helped us avoid hours of traffic and unnecessary stress related to going back and forth to work. Although I know that is one of the many positive things that we can rescue from the lockdown that we had in 2020, it is important to remember that we must create ways to keep teams united and empathic with each other. The reality is that the only ones who can do this are us, as leaders.