COVID-19 has taken everybody by surprise and not even the most pessimistic business leader could have properly prepared for the far-reaching impact that this has had upon all aspects of life and business.
Some of our clients have kept their nerve and continued with their projects, confident that life will one day return to a “new normal” that will allow their businesses to continue in broadly the same way as before, others have taken a very conservative approach and have “battened down the hatches” waiting for the storm to blow over before they venture back in to the world and most are somewhere between these two extremes.
The result of these different approaches has at least allowed for some business continuity although all of us in the world of professional consultancy have had to suffer significant cutbacks in projects and increased delays in payment.
During the past 40 or more years since I started managing a business I have learned that the one thing that you can be certain of is that you cannot be certain of anything; leading a business has always relied on having the capacity to adapt, adjust and respond to the unprecedented and unpredictable new business environment that we find ourselves in and this approach is even more important at this time.
Now that businesses in the UAE are returning to work the most visible effect of the situation is the increase in protective measures we have put place to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, fellow consultants and clients but equally important is the evidence that the measures that we took at the beginning of the lockdown period, where we encouraged all of our colleagues to use their initiative and new-found autonomy to identify more productive ways of working, has provided a strong foundation for our future together.
We are always looking to improve on what we do and how we do it, and despite all the negative connotations of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that we are addressing the requirements necessary to keep the business running and to reduce to a minimum the inevitable disruption to customers and employees both in the office and on our sites.
The most important part of GAJ is our team of hugely talented and committed individuals – of all disciplines and in all parts of the business – whose support at this difficult time has been nothing short of amazing.
We don’t know what the future looks like but we do know that this is a unique opportunity for us all to reassess and evolve; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Brian Johnson, Managing Partner