At the beginning of the XXth century, the world was watching in awe the economic changes that the new industrial era was presenting. We had a new work structure given by the fact that people were working 8-hour days, which offered a different pace to their personal life.
The social rights of the working class became more and more necessary and the political class was changing. The innovative technologies from all fields generated new business models and brought forward new industries.
It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It is because we, the early XXI century generation, are experiencing the same thing.
Besides identifying as an entrepreneur, I am a scholar of history and human behaviour. The cyclicality of history has never been more obvious in all my 34 years of life and 14 years of professional experience. What I feel, while faced with these times, is an unsurmountable curiosity, mixed with fear and gratitude. I consider it a privilege to live through-out these moments that give us the opportunity to experience another type of “new world”, this time not by discovering new continents, but new planets.
The types of businesses that I coordinate are very different: from recruitment to consultancy for the process of team management, to the development of a real estate franchise. What I love about this new economical worldwide outlook is the effervescence and the ambiguity of the situations. I think it is very difficult to survive as an entrepreneur if one can only travel on a sea at storm with the same tools that one was using on a silent sea. In my opinion, during this period, courage, emotional equilibrium, and instinctual decision-making took the place of planed decision-making and the forecast for the next 5 years.
For me, experience comes first in this sea taken over by storm. And I can say that I have learned a lot about adapting and decision making, both from my own experience and also from the clients that I have worked with, in reorganizing companies and developing the organizational culture or opening new business divisions.
The last 8 months have offered me a few elementary business lessons and they have also made me a more adaptable entrepreneur. Here are some of those lessons:
There is no death, there is only transformation: in March 2020 our recruitment and training activities dropped to 5% and we had a short period in which fear took over strategy, but by looking around I understood that things don’t die, the economy doesn’t stop it only transforms itself. The companies lowered their recruitment need, but another very important one emerged, the candidates’ need for reorientation and professional reinvention. And that is where the Zoom HR team can help. So we regrouped and we developed ReinventeazaTE.ro, a platform for assisting the ones who desire a new professional path.
During the moments of maximum tension, teams don’t transform their organizational culture, they only make it more potent. All the companies had to quickly reevaluate the way their teams work, no matter if they slowed down or developed their activity, and what I could observe firsthand was that all the neuralgic points of an organization were put on display. Dysfunctional communication within a company was the first thing that slowed down the capacity of adapting of that company. If managers chose not to act on employees’ lack of performance during this period, they were faced with the situation of managing their indecision and their lack of accountability for these discussions. This type of consultancy service, for reorganizing the team management processes, were the most sought after by the clients of ZoomHR.
The financial decisions become healthier when one must choose their priorities. During this period of economic growth, we, the managers, tend to take financial decisions more easily and spend on aspects that are not necessary or exactly relevant for the team. I haven’t known a better period, than the last 8 months, for making the expense budgets, investments, and financial rewards more efficient. In our team, one of the targets that we have for this period is to assign part of our profit for investing in emerging technologies and companies.
Cash is not king, education is king. Just as the development of a country is built primarily through investment in health and education, so is the development of a company based on the education pillar. I think we have all seen over the last year how the lack of education costs us in society. For me personally and the company I run, education is no.1. This is why we decided, in addition to our development as a team and acquiring new skills, to build education for our clients as well. That’s why this year we started to offer more of what we know. This is how we built the first podcast for human resources in Romania (talent for business) and we are in the process of editing the first book for professional reinvention. Education means adaptability and this is one of the skills that is absolutely necessary over the next 10 years
I believe that this economic and social moment is extremely special because we are all in it together. It is not an economic recession, it is not a health crisis, it is s a time to rediscover human life, values, and possibilities of humanity, and I want to take it all in and live it fully. Entrepreneur or employee, I think it’s time to lift our sails and navigate, driven by the wind of change
Raluca Culda is Owner ZoomHR, a Keynote Speaker, and a Writer
This article first appeared in the Elite Business Women magazine.
Read the full magazine here.