We found ourselves in Wildovia overnight: things in the world we believed to be rock solid are now collapsing around us. We didn’t even have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we had no chance for a proper panic attack either. We had to take action at home and in our office, too.
I would prefer not to go into details about family – we are all fine, thank you.
I would, however, love to explain what steps we took at Edimart to arrive at a point where we can make a cautious claim: we have prepared for the unimaginable.
I first heard of Wildovia from László Mérő about a year ago. I found this topic particularly inspiring, so it’s no surprise that he was the first to pop into my mind when news about the COVID-19 began to spread.
I was constantly reminded of his words:
„History evolves in sudden leaps and bounds, we can’t even begin to make guesses about future events, they are not improbable, but unimaginable.” i
So how are we supposed to adapt to such unimaginable events?
First, we accepted that no one could tell with certainty how much and for how long COVID-19 will take over our lives. One thing is for sure: we will have to stay outside our comfort zones for quite a while. This is somewhat comforting, since I won’t be disappointed if by the end of the day, I feel uncomfortable. At least, this much is unquestionable. That’s a start, isn’t it?
In tough situations, the thought of not being alone helps a lot. We are all in the same boat, even if we must keep 2 meters from each other, and this fact is really comforting. It is amazing to see how we support each other during the hardships, it makes us realise that we are surrounded by good people.
The most important question for the first week was to decide whether we can adapt to changes.
Can we work from home efficiently? Can we define common goals? Can we make sacrifices without considering ourselves victims? Can we accept that the schemes we had applied to our work have changed or they have become completely inapplicable? Can we accept that our main objective is to keep the team and the company running even if this means we must make financial sacrifices?
The support we received from our team is unbelievable. Some of them helped us optimise our home office system overnight, introduced Microsoft Teams, and transformed the meeting system to keep up with new challenges. The sales team switched strategies immediately, got into contact with key clients and assessed the challenges regarding our client portfolio. The finance department focused on outstanding balance management. The PM team is pressing ahead at full steam as a lot of projects still keep coming, which is something we’re very grateful for. The feedback, encouragement and support we receive from our clients is what keeps us going. Rethinking our cash flow management is only one step ahead.
We tried to take a very scientific approach, we took a deep dive into data, analytics and forecasts – it was very useful to gain knowledge, but we realised our most important tools are common sense and agility.
Within a week, we got to a point where we can confidently say that despite the expected significant decrease in turnover in the following months, we have a viable plan B and C, and just in case, even a plan D. Our plans are simple and transparent, which makes it easy for everyone to understand them.
We have discussed the plans with every member of the team, because it is crucially important that they keep feeling assured and secure even when the turnover begins to decline. We have enough uncertainty to grapple with already.
We all know our tasks, and that’s a huge thing. The management reviews incoming data and information on a weekly basis, and we decide which plan to go on with accordingly. This model is sustainable, it provides a firm footing, and it enables us to adapt to circumstances quickly while avoiding disproportional sacrifices.
We can adapt to changes, we look for solutions, we find value in every situation we find ourselves in, and we care deeply about personal relationships. This is the credo of Edimart for the time of COVID-19.
The blog post was inspired by the presentation of László Mérő, Preparing for the unimaginable, which I was lucky enough to attend in April 2019 at Kürt Academy.
written by Marta Balazs, MD of Edimart
translated from Hungarian by Evelin and Márton, Edimart
i Approximate quote from László Mérő’s presentation