Fatma S. Al Riyami,
Chief executive, Xeem – Fatma Al Riyami Consultancy
It has been almost two months since the pandemic started. And no one has been spared from the changes that it has brought on us. Although it created fear, panic and chaos, we are also witness to many positives. These include appreciating all the blessings that we have had and took for granted.
The changes that we witness today are the lessons we have learnt for tomorrow. Truly, this is a lifetime learning experience!
Keep the team safe and work remotely
In running my consultancy business, the priority was to keep the team safe and work remotely and take all the necessary precautions. We communicated to our regular clients on our working practices, holding most of our meetings online and remotely facilitating audits. We conducted in-house online training for the team, and we also took this opportunity to acquire knowledge and learning by joining online programmes. We used our business communication channels to reflect positivism and actually gained knowledge from the crisis. This helped us to think more effectively and make plans for the period after the pandemic.
We have a lot to learn from this crisis
The SME’s have been harshly impacted. Although the government is trying its best to reduce impact on businesses in general, the disruption caused is large and we need to start working on improving our business preparedness for a future faced with challenges and crises. We have a lot to learn from this crisis, and this won’t be the last, so besides working on our survival plans, we need to start working on our recovery plans and future business continuity strategies that would improve our resilience, survival and growth.
Further, I believe businesses surviving this crisis need to contribute to sharing knowledge. For example, businesses adapting lean management and those embracing technology are less impacted.
The shift is shaping the future
The shift witnessed today is surely shaping the future on many perspectives, bringing along social behavioural changes from social distancing to personal hygiene. These surely brings in good practices that people normally take for granted and don’t implement seriously.
Oman has excelled
On the other hand, technology is proven to be the favoured trend for businesses to embrace. It will help them to better manage their business from saving and sharing information to offering online services and communication. Oman has impressively excelled in this compartment with innovative ideas and inventions addressing COVID-19 related problems.
Foresee a better future
Today we act responsibly towards the environment, contributing to clear air, less pollution and emissions. If we continue to invest and hold on to good actions, I guess we will surely work towards a better future for generations to come.
Learn from the lessons
Economic distraction is massive and will take long to recover and this is the greatest stress test for organisations in general be it governments, large businesses or SMEs — everyone is impacted. Although everyone is on survival mode for now, we should however take away the lessons learned to build on our resilience and strength for stronger future.
Can’t point out the biggest challenge
It is hard to identify and point out the biggest challenge, where the disruption caused by COVID-19 has put the globe at large in total chaos. Nothing of this scale has ever happened, at least not in our era, where the world seems so small and connected that no one is spared from this crisis.
Adapt to change
The biggest challenge after the crisis would be to adapt to change, which is enforced by the crisis. Metaphorically, it’s like going through rehabilitation where it would be tough at the beginning but then gets easier as we go along and soon we will reach into our true potentials and excel. This is a proof that the human being is an incredible creature by the Almighty, and what we see as a challenge today holds an opportunity. And with great determination and perseverance we will thrive above all challenges in good time.
Be responsible and make a difference
Being responsible is the first contribution towards making a difference. Keeping well and abiding by the regulations is vital, in appreciation to those putting their lives on stake for everyone. We continue to serve our clients, mentor and support our SME clients. Further we work towards contributing to knowledge through various research initiatives, exploring national business efforts in facing the COVID-19 crisis.
This is an eye opener for us where research is limited in our part of the world, while others begun to contribute to knowledge through various research on coronavirus not only in finding cure but further in different areas offering valuable contributions and availing desired knowledge. I believe Oman should take the lead in finding innovative contributions to good and safe practices and more knowledge.