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Listening, learning and collaborating through the pandemic Listening, learning and collaborating through the pandemic
If we collaborate and learn from each other daily, we will keep on discovering how to do it better, says TTG's Anton Herbst. Listening, learning and collaborating through the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in uncertainty at an unprecedented level. The events of the last three months have required us to confront the very essence of what makes us human.

Businesses everywhere have had to make tough choices between saving human lives in the short-term and facing economic ruin over the near term. Companies with fragile cash reserves, cash flows and business models are being suffocated quickly by the lack of sales during the lockdowns here and abroad.

All timelines are being compressed by the pandemic. Decisions that would normally take years to make and implement must now be made in a matter of days.

Our company culture and values are manifesting in the way we treat our people, our partners, our suppliers and our customers. The same applies to our technology ecosystem, where we focus on listening, collaborating and solving problems, as we respond to an increasingly fluid environment.

The end-users are now the primary concern for each participant in that ecosystem.

There is no doubt that, as a company, we need a more flexible and adaptable approach to ensure our near-term survival. This will require heightened levels of transparency and trust – the very essence of a true partnership.

We have had intense engagements with our vendor and reseller partners over the last few weeks, listening to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Many of our partners continue to thrive in at least some aspects of their business.

While retaining and sustaining our partners and customers is crucial, we must also focus on how we can use the myriad technologies available to us to solve customers’ problems and address their needs – both old and new.

Where once our natural response was to sell, now we must really listen to understand. We need a far more customised and specific approach, and one which is more agile and flexible.

There is no doubt that we have a mountain to climb. And,  if we collaborate and learn from each other daily, we will keep on discovering how to do it better.

Anton Herbst is the group strategy director, Tarsus Technology Group.

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