To Survive the Pandemic, Entrepreneurs Need Change In Mindset

Jamil Qureshi and Carolyn Breeze share their viewpoint on leadership and strategic plans as the world adapts work from home

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Feature Writer
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Maximizing agility at work and bringing out the best in an organization are the pressing needs during the current pandemic. Being competitive, sports offer innumerable takeaways which can be implemented in boardrooms. Highlighting various ways to be compassionate with employees and improving communication with them was the prime agenda of a discussion organized by Entrepreneur APAC with Jamil Qureshi, performance psychologist, speaker, facilitator and entrepreneur and Carolyn Breeze, managing director of GoCardless.

Almost everyone across the world was not acquainted with work-from-home culture before the pandemic. Be it preparedness or methodology of working remotely is changing drastically, but it is equally an interesting phase for everyone. According to Qureshi, leadership is being worked on in a new context. Accepting the current context of leadership and attaining progress are important in the situation which has never been witnessed. Consistent discussion on the need to change the mindset, actions and behaviour is the primary focus. Qureshi further added, “The future demands us to be different. We cannot trust anyone who champions the past.”

Irrespective of which profession you are in, it is necessary to understand the current situation to tread towards progress. He asserted that creating perspective, assessing possibilities and visualizing opportunities are some of the ways used by him to help people at present. This initiative is aimed at creating a mindset to succeed in the disruptive and changing world.

Challenges Amidst the Remote Work Culture, And Plans Ahead

Breeze said that a huge customer base and vast brand presence were attained by GoCardless when the organization was very young. In the process of brand building, remote working culture is hard to be addressed. Lack of face-to-face interactions was one of the major challenges for her team to make communication clear. However, the team found an alternative and with the support of Qureshi, Breeze coped up with this work culture in a phenomenal manner. This phase has been definitely challenging, but, the new practices like working from home and catching up for breakfast online once in a while were few of the ways to stay connected with the team. Coaching and mentoring were also involved to boost morale of the employees by seeking inputs of Qureshi, mentioned Breeze.

Strategies Towards Goal Accomplishment and Working In Unison

Bureaucracy and hierarchy have been prioritized by many communities when it comes to maximizing talent at the moment. Considering the tough times at present, the level of connectivity has to be maintained in the community. Being open-minded is the major lesson for organizations, said Qureshi. He quipped, “The future cannot be predicted, but, we can stay prepared for it.” The increased level of fluidity in the business processes and open-mindedness along with deployment of opportunities will ultimately bring clarity towards  goals.

Forming communities in the organization which look after the issues regardless of their nature is important. This can be tough for large organizations, particularly the ones which suffer from the curse of incumbency. For instance, bank utilities and pharmaceutical companies might face hardships in the current scenario. Qureshi pointed if you have got a nimble business ready, then, the prospects of gaining agility, open-minded and becoming fleet of foot to deploy your resources are high. It’s the best time to assess strengths of the team members and realize how they can be springboard towards success in the future. At GoCardless, strengths of the business are being understood culturally as well as within technologies and processes. Qureshi even mentioned that proper strategies which yield success are being monitored to realize their role as an accelerant move in this short-term crisis.

Scope of Growth In Remote Culture for GoCardless

The paradigm shift of traditional payments to digital one has been witnessed by GoCardless. People have switched to digital payment rather than using cash. However, small and medium businesses and new businesses which are starting up generally focus on cashflow and adopt pull mechanism for payments. Breeze relates as in the case of GoCardless, money is pulled out from the bank to pay further offering security to small businesses. They get an estimate when the money will be received by them instead of waiting for someone to pay the same. She specified, “The small businesses have got the ability to actually pull money under agreement from that back account.” Thus, the cashflow has been a chief focus for most of the businesses. Due to the transition in the traditional approach towards operations, GoCardless has got an opportunity to identify efficiencies for the businesses to work at a deeper level.

According to Breeze, this is a blessing in disguise as adoption of digital payment and subscription type lifestyle are some of the smarter ways witnessed by the organization. At the same time, most of the businesses which have undergone the aftereffects of the pandemic have also been supported by the team of GoCardless. Changing the perception and product range have been some of the noticeable strategies of some of the businesses for accommodating to the remote type of market.

Filling In the Vacuum At Work Created Due To COVID

Taking away people from immediacy of the to-do-list and creating sessions for them has been the pivotal point as shared by Qureshi. His idea is to enable people to determine what they are seeking to create rather than focusing on what is being done. If what is done in office gets replicated at home or in remote working, one might become active, but not necessarily productive. Qureshi underlines, “Being purposeful is the key to create is the starting point and I always talk about energy management.” Additionally, being mindful of the context has to be reflected over to achieve goals.

Words of Wisdom for Young entrepreneurs

According to Qureshi, possibilities and perspectives essential in the business should be pondered over to create something meaningful as well as sustainable. This is the major learning which young entrepreneurs or executives can seek from the sports’ arena. He also emphasized, “If you think differently, you will act differently.” Having clarity in the goal is another crucial point to be implemented over to succeed in all types of businesses. He concluded that purpose is not achieved, but, attained on a daily basis just like Richard Branson, Tiger Woods or any other sportsperson does to be successful.

Latest on Entrepreneur