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The End of An Era?

With the ouster of Mugabe, Zimbabweans have claimed only one scalp of the many-headed Hydra. BENSON C SAILI explains.

On November 15th 2017, The New York  Times asked Victor Matemadanda, secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Association,  to provide context as to how Emmerson Mnangagwa came to be known as “Ngwenya”, or  “The Crocodile” in English.  A plethora of theories have been bandied about in relation to how the hair-raising label came about, but Matemadanda would not be drawn into a labouring of the whys and wherefores. Instead, he cut straight to the chase.

“A crocodile patiently waits for his target, pretending to be a rock,” Matemadanda  said. “At times you think he doesn’t react, or doesn’t have any solution to what is happening. He doesn’t show irritation until the optimal moment and then he strikes. And when he does, he doesn’t miss his target!”

That day, Ngwenya  had been just under ten days in self-imposed exile in Mzansi and Robert Mugabe was yet to give up the ghost politically although he was long past  his expiry date. But one does not need to be a rocket scientist to get the  pith of what Matemandanda was intimating – that whatever was in the offing in Mugabe’s horoscope was entirely  the work of  the Crocodile. Mnangagwa schemed the palace coup and decided to stage it at a time when Mugabe was most vulnerable – jaded and enfeebled by old age, drowsy all the time even in meetings he himself chaired, stumbling and faltering with every step, his incorrigible kids openly flaunting the family’s ill-gotten wealth, and insinuations of a dynast in the making with his wayward and scandal-prone wife having publicly declared her wish to succeed him.

THE CROCODILE’S FIRST FUTILE BITE

The axing of Emmerson Mnangagwa by Robert Mugabe arose at the urging of “Gucci” Grace, as she has been dubbed lately thanks to her exhibitionist, bling-bling shopping sprees. At a public gathering, Grace accused Mnangagwa of “fanning factionalism” and for being the architect of a foiled coup wayback in 1980. These accusations are not exactly a figment of Dis-Grace’s imagination: there’s a modicum of veracity to them.

To begin with, rumours having been swirling for some time that there’s a Shona versus Kalanga divide in the upper echelons of both the executive and the military, a scenario Grace was trying to exploit in her hare-brained bid for the vice-presidency. The Kalangas are the largest sub-group of the broader Shona ethnic group and Mnangagwa is a true-blue Kalanga. The tribe to which Mugabe belongs, the Zezurus, constitute one of the smallest of the Shona group, which is made up of the Kalanga (southern Shona); Rozvis; Zezurus (central Shona); and Korekores (northern Shona) in the main.

The attempted coup that Grace alluded to is not that well-known, perhaps because it occurred just shortly after Zimbabwe’s independence and to publicise it at the time would have cast the Mugabe government as fragile, weak-kneed, and unpopular when it had hardly set sail. It is indeed curious why Grace omitted to  make reference to the most serious attempt to oust Mugabe pre-2017 – the abortive coup of  2007. The coup was supposed to take place between  June 2 and June 15 2007. About 400 soldiers and up to 10 high-ranking army officers were enlisted in the attempted putsch. The plotters were not tried in a court of law but seven ring leaders, who included the alleged mastermind, Albert Matapo, were detained for seven years.

Now hear this: the seven detainees told their captors that the person who was actually behind the coup attempt was Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was then Minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities, a post  he thought demeaned him as  a man of solid  revolutionary credentials.  It was he who would have become president had the coup succeeded: all others were no more than   foot soldiers.

Yet  Mnangagwa, and three other senior army officers,  namely Lt. Colonel Ben Ncube, Major-General Engelbert Rugele, and Vice Marshall Elson Moyo, were  not bothered at all: they remained in the army, which goes to show how powerful  Mnangagwa was.  Mnangagwa was untouchable even to Mugabe himself.  It stands to reason that the treasonous act would never have come to trial for fear of the beans the seven would have spilt about  Mnangagwa.

ZUMA, CHINA, AND THE CIA LENT BLESSINGS TO PUTSCH

Addressing a rally after firing his seniormost vice president, Robert Mugabe said he sacked him for plotting to unseat him from the day he elevated him in 2014. Mugabe did not go into particulars but it is clear he did get wind of the plot that finally toppled him. The mistake he committed, which he will always rue, was to tread softly in his reaction when he should have gone for the jugular straightaway. Contrary to popular belief, the coup was not hatched in the wake of Mnangagwa’s dismissal.  According to the highly regarded, London-based newsletter Africa Confidential, the coup was devised several weeks prior. The dismissal of Mnangagwa simply served to fast-track it.

The coup was scheduled for December 2017, just before the ZANU-PF conference, where it was feared by the Mnangagwa faction, who called themselves Team Lacoste, that members of the Grace Mugabe faction, known as G-40, would ascend to plum party positions at the expense of Team Lacoste and therefore consign it to oblivion.

Before moving to execute the coup, Team Lacoste took soundings with three highly influential nations – China, the US, and  South Africa. General Chiwenga in fact travelled to China on November 5 and met that country’s defence minister Chang Wanquan to secure the Red Dragon’s blessings. The alarm bell Chiwenga sounded before China was that the imminent wholesale purge of the Lacoste Team  at the forthcoming December conference was certain to compromise China’s interests in the country as the G40 were populists who wanted to brandish the anti-China card as a rallying cry.

“In South Africa, Mnangagwa, Chiwenga and Chris Mutsavangwa, the 'war veterans' leader and former ambassador to China, talked to local security officials about the implications of their military action in Harare,” said Africa Confidential. “We understand they were given assurances of non-intervention by South Africa so long as the action didn't spill over the borders and remained 'broadly constitutional'. Chiwenga and Mnangagwa promised to find a way to avoid the action being stigmatised as a military coup by the African Union or the Southern African Development Community.”

Citing their own source, City Press, a leading South African Sunday paper,  also reported that,  “The Chinese were keen on knowing who would take over. When the diplomat informed them that it was Mnangagwa, they were thrilled as he is an old friend of China. He did his military training there.” As for the US being in on the plot too, the same City Press source said,  “I can confirm that at this stage, the United States was informed, but played no role in the plan.”

Chiwenga had undertaken the overseas journey on the pretext that he was following up on his routine medicals. During his absence, Mugabe’s informants disclosed to him the true nature of Chiwenga’s mission, whereupon Mugabe issued instructions to the effect that Chiwenga be arrested immediately upon his return. A tipped-off  Chiwenga returned not via the main airport in Harare  but via a little-used aerodrome, where military intelligence turned up in full force  to thwart any attempt on the part of the police to lead him away in  handcuffs. 

CAN THE CROCODILE RISE TO THE OCCASION?

It is said behind every successful man there is a woman. But women have also been the downfall of many a successful man. The voluptuous Delilah led to strongman Samson’s eventual demise. The Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha expired in the arms of a prostitute after she fed him a poisoned apple in the afterglow of a torrid round of lovemaking. The architect of Mugabe’s downfall was none other than the ultra-ambitious and incredibly naive Grace Mugabe, who nudged her almost senile husband to alienate himself from the military top brass.

Mnangagwa was the Chairman  of the Joint  Operations Command, which   comprised of the  heads of the Zimbabwean Defence Force, the Zimbabwean National  Army, the Zimbabwe Air Force, the Zimbabwe Police, the Zimbabwe Prison Service, the Central Intelligence Organisation, the Minister of Defence, and the Governor of the Central Bank. In theory, he was more powerful than even Mugabe himself. To toy with him was therefore suicidal. Mugabe himself was aware how powerful and even indispensable Mnangagwa was, the reason why despite his glaring sins of yesteryears, Mugabe just could not give him the marching orders. 

That said, is Mnangagwa the best man to lead Zimbabwe from Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained? Was  the euphoria that we saw on the small silver screen  warranted or it was pure  delirium? Looking at Ngwenya’s CV, one is inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. When about 20,000 Ndebeles were massacred by the  North Korean trained 5th Brigade, Mugabe’s professional thugs,  in 1980, Mnangagwa  is said to have been  the man who captained them.

But  is that really true? For at the time,  Mnangagwa was Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, not Defence Minister, Home Affairs Minister, or even Deputy Prime Minister. The Defence Minister in fact was Mugabe himself. So it is a bit of stretch to suggest that Mnangagwa  superintended over the Matabeleland  atrocities. If anybody is to blame for the carnage, it is Robert Mugabe himself,  who was at once Head of State and Defence Minister at the time. The reason Mugabe was seen to be mollycoddling Mnangagwa may be attributed in the main to Mnangagwa’s comprehensive knowledge of where Mugabe’s haul of bodies are buried.

In 1995 and 1996, Mnangagwa acted as Finance Minister. During that very brief period, he gained a reputation as the best Finance Minister the country had ever had. This was not cheap rhetoric: it was the unanimous  view of the senior technocrats who worked under him, including the ranks of the intelligentsia who majored in economics. So before we dismiss him as a scatterbrain who attained his ne plus ultra as a freedom fighter, let us cut him slack as he has reportedly what it takes to exhume his country from the economic grave and give it a new and sustainable lease of life. In any case, he’s a trained barrister – a lawyer. He’s no dunderhead at all.

HAVE THEY SOWN THE WIND ONLY TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND?

Yet the ouster of Robert Mugabe must be seen in its proper context. It was not an Arab Spring kind of upheaval.  And it was not conducted in the interests of the body politic. It all was about schisms in the ranks of the ZANU-PF. The break-dancing and ululating citizenry who thronged the streets on November 21st to celebrate the departure of Mugabe were swept up in the hysteria of the moment without seriously analysing the causal factors and the politics at play. They celebrated change for its own sake without interrogating the bona fides of the forces that precipitated that change.

Look, the army Generals who put Mugabe to the sword were the same ones responsible for the death of about 200 people during the 2008 elections. It was they who presided over the closed doors rigging of the elections and it was they who issued that unforgettable barbarous threat – that they would never allow a person who did not have liberation credentials to ascend to the highest office in the land. But when their own vested political and economic interests were threatened, they did not hesitate to pounce and show Mugabe the door. Their own individual welfare was primary, whereas the welfare of the nation at large was secondary, if not irrelevant altogether.

As for the opposition coalition, they too have been played big time as pawns of the country’s military-industrial complex. It’s like they have blinkers over their eyes or are so myopic they cannot see beyond the points of their noises. By throwing in their lot behind the overthrow of Mugabe, all they have done is simply consolidate military rule behind the scenes and give legitimacy to a unconstitutional change of a constitutionally  elected president. What they have done is not to midwife a new era of a democratic dispensation but to aid and abet the chicanery of ZANU-PF. 

True, Mugabe has rode into the sunset of political history but only  one of the multiple heads of  the Lernaean Hydra  has been cut: the rest remain in place and unscathed. With such a creature at the helm, what guarantees are there that what happened in 2008 won’t be replicated in July 2018?

In 1991, Zambians dismissed Kenneth Kaunda, who wasn’t half a despot as Robert Mugabe, from a further conduct of their affairs. They celebrated as if they had just won self-rule from a draconian imperial power or toppled an Idi Amin or Jean Bedel Bokassa. It did not take more than five years for them to wish Kaunda had continued to rule for another 27 more years so pathetic was the regime that took over and in full conformity with  the parameters of an archetypal democracy for that matter. Politics, folks, is very fickle. What a dirty game it is!

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Can we cure ourselves from the cancer of corruption?

28th October 2020
DCEC DIRECTOR: Tymon Katholo

Bokani Lisa Motsu

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” Carl Sagan

Corruption is a heavy price to pay. The clean ones pay and suffer at the mercy of people who cannot have enough. They always want to eat and eat so selfishly like a bunch of ugly masked shrews. I hope God forgives me for ridiculing his creatures, but that mammal is so greedy. But corruption is not the new kid on the block, because it has always been everywhere.

This of course begs the question, why that is so? The common answer was and still is – abuse and misuse of power by those in power and weak institutions, disempowered to control the leaders. In 1996, the then President of The World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn named the ‘C-Word’ for the first time during an annual meeting of the Bretton Woods Institutions. A global fight against corruption started. Transparency International began its work. Internal and external audits mushroomed; commissions of inquiry followed and ever convoluted public tender procedures have become a bureaucratic nightmare to the private sector, trying to fight red tape.

The result is sobering corruption today is worse than it was 25 years ago. There is no denying that strong institutions help, but how does it come that in the annual Transparency International Ranking the same group of countries tend to be on the top while another group of countries, many African among them, tend to be on the bottom? Before one jumps to simple and seductive conclusions let us step back a moment.

Wolfensohn called corruption a cancer that destroys economies like a cancer destroys a body. A cancer is, simplified, good cells in a body gone bad, taking control of more and more good cells until the entire body is contaminated and eventually dies. So, let us look at the good cells of society first: they are family ties, clan and tribe affiliation, group cohesion, loyalty, empathy, reciprocity.

Most ordinary people like the reader of these lines or myself would claim to share such values. Once we ordinary people must make decisions, these good cells kick in: why should I hire a Mrs. Unknown, if I can hire my niece whose strengths and weaknesses I know? If I hire the niece, she will owe me and support my objectives.

Why should I purchase office furniture from that unknown company if I know that my friend’s business has good quality stuff? If I buy from him, he will make an extra effort to deliver his best and provide quality after sales service? So, why go through a convoluted tender process with uncertain outcome? In the unlikely case my friend does not perform as expected, I have many informal means to make him deliver, rather than going through a lengthy legal proceeding?

This sounds like common sense and natural and our private lives do work mostly that way and mostly quite well.

The problem is scale. Scale of power, scale of potential gains, scale of temptations, scale of risk. And who among us could throw the first stone were we in positions of power and claim not to succumb to the temptations of scale? Like in a body, cancer cells start growing out of proportion.

So, before we call out for new leaders – experience shows they are rarely better than the old ones – we need to look at ourselves first. But how easy is that? If I were the niece who gets the job through nepotism, why should I be overly critical? If I got a big furniture contract from a friend, why should I spill the beans? What right do I have to assume that, if I were a president or a minister or a corporate chief procurement officer I would not be tempted?

This is where we need to learn. What is useful, quick, efficient, and effective within a family or within a clan or a small community can become counterproductive and costly and destructive at larger corporate or national scale. Our empathy with small scale reciprocity easily permeates into complacency and complicity with large scale corruption and into an acquiescence with weak institutions to control it.

Our institutions can only be as strong as we wish them to be.

I was probably around ten years old and have always been that keen enthusiastic child that also liked to sing the favourite line of, ‘the world will become a better place.’  I would literally stand in front of a mirror and use my mom’s torch as a mic and sing along Michael Jackson’s hit song, ‘We are the world.’

Despite my horrible voice, I still believed in the message.  Few years later, my annoyance towards the world’s corrupt system wonders whether I was just too naïve. Few years later and I am still in doubt so as to whether I should go on blabbing that same old boring line. ‘The world is going to be a better place.’ The question is, when?

The answer is – as always: now.

This is pessimistic if not fatalistic – I challenge Sagan’s outlook with a paraphrased adage of unknown origin: Some people can be bamboozled all of the time, all people can be bamboozled some of the time, but never will all people be bamboozled all of the time.

We, the people are the only ones who can heal society from the cancer of corruption. We need to understand the temptation of scale and address it. We need to stop seeing ourselves just a victim of a disease that sleeps in all of us. We need to give power to the institutions that we have put in place to control corruption: parliaments, separation of power, the press, the ballot box. And sometimes we need to say as a niece – no, I do not want that job as a favour, I want it because I have proven to be better than other contenders.

It is going to be a struggle, because it will mean sacrifices, but sacrifices that we have chosen, not those imposed on us.

Let us start today.

*Bokani Lisa Motsu is a student at University of Botswana

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Opinions

Accounting Officers are out of touch with reality

19th October 2020

Parliament, the second arm of State through its parliamentary committees are one of Botswana’s most powerful mechanisms to ensure that government is held accountable at all times. The Accounting Officers are mostly Permanent Secretaries across government Ministries and Chief Executive Officers, Director Generals, Managing Directors of parastatals, state owned enterprises and Civil Society.

So parliament plays its oversight authority via the legislators sitting on a parliamentary committee and Accounting Officers sitting in the hot chair.  When left with no proper checks and balances, the Executive is prone to abuse the arrangement and so systematic oversight of the executive is usually carried out by parliamentary committees.  They track the work of various government departments and ministries, and conduct scrutiny into important aspects of their policy, direction and administration.

It is not rocket science that effective oversight requires that committees be totally independent and able to set their own agendas and have the power to summon ministers and top civil servants to appear and answer questions. Naturally, Accounting Officers are the highest ranking officials in the government hierarchy apart from cabinet Ministers and as such wield much power and influence in the performance of government.  To illustrate further, government performance is largely owed to the strategic and policy direction of top technocrats in various Ministries.

It is disheartening to point out that the recent parliament committees — as has been the case all over the years — has laid bare the incompetency, inadequacy and ineptitude of people bestowed with great responsibilities in public offices. To say that they are ineffective and inefficient sounds as an understatement. Some appear useless and hopeless when it comes to running the government despite the huge responsibility they possess.

If we were uncertain about the degree at which the Accounting Officers are incompetent, the ongoing parliament committees provide a glaring answer.  It is not an exaggeration to say that ordinary people on the streets have been held ransom by these technocrats who enjoy their air conditioned offices and relish being chauffeured around in luxurious BX SUV’s while the rest of the citizenry continue to suffer. Because of such high life the Accounting Officers seem to have, with time, they have gotten out of touch with the people they are supposed to serve.

An example; when appearing before the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Office of the President Permanent Secretary, Thuso Ramodimoosi, looked reluctant to admit misuse of public funds. Although it is clear funds were misused, he looked unbothered when committee members grilled him over the P80 million Orapa House building that has since morphed into a white elephant for close to 10 successive years. To him, it seems it did not matter much and PAC members were worried for nothing.

On a separate day, another Accounting officer, Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Naledi Mosalakatane, was not shy to reveal to PAC upon cross-examination that there exist more than 6 000 vacancies in government. Whatever reasons she gave as an excuse, they were not convincing and the committee looked sceptical too. She was faltering and seemed not to have a sense of urgency over the matter no matter how critical it is to the populace.

Botswana’s unemployment rate hoovers around 18 percent in a country where majority of the population is the youth, and the most affected by unemployment. It is still unclear why DPSM could underplay such a critical matter that may threaten the peace and stability of the country.
Accounting Officers clearly appear out of touch with the reality out there – if the PAC examinations are anything to go by.

Ideally the DPSM Director could be dropping the vacancy post digits while sourcing funds and setting timelines for the spaces to be filled as a matter of urgency so that the citizens get employed to feed their families and get out of unemployment and poverty ravaging the country.
The country should thank parliamentary committees such as PAC to expose these abnormalities and the behaviour of our leaders when in public office. How can a full Accounting Officer downplay the magnitude of the landless problem in Botswana and fail to come with direct solutions tailor made to provide Batswana with the land they desperately need?

Land is a life and death matter for some citizens, as we would know.

When Bonolo Khumotaka, the Accounting Officer in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, whom as a top official probably with a lucrative pay too appears to be lacking sense of urgency as she is failing on her key mandate of working around the clock to award the citizens with land especially those who need it most like the marginalised.  If government purports they need P94 billion to service land to address the land crisis what is plan B for government? Are we going to accept it the way it is?

Government should wake up from its slumber and intervene to avoid the 30 years unnecessary waiting period in State land and 13 years in Tribal land.  Accounting Officers are custodians of government policy, they should ensure it is effective and serve its purpose. What we have been doing over the years, has proved that it is not effective, and clearly there is a need for change of direction.

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Is it possible to make people part of your business resilience planning after the State of Public Emergency?

12th October 2020

THABO MAJOLA

His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi EK Masisi, the President of the Republic of Botswana found it appropriate to invoke Section 17 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana, using the powers vested in him to declare a State of Public Emergency starting from the 2nd April 2020 at midnight.

The constitutional provision under Section 17 (2b) only provided that such a declaration could be up to a maximum of 21 days. His Excellency further invoked Section 93 (1) to convene an extra- ordinary meeting of Parliament to have the opportunity to consult members of parliament on measures that have been put in place to address the spread and transmission of the virus. At this meeting Members of Parliament passed a resolution on the legal instruments and regulations governing the period of the state of emergency, and extended its duration by six (6) months.

The passing of the State of Emergency is considered as a very crucial step in fighting the near apocalyptic potential of the Novel COVID-19 virus. One of the interesting initiatives that was developed and extended to the business community was a 3-month wage subsidy that came with a condition that no businesses would retrench for the duration of the State of Public Emergency. This has potentially saved many people’s jobs as most companies would have been extremely quick to reduce expenses by downsizing. Self-preservation as some would call it.

Most organisations would have tried to reduce costs by letting go of people, retreated and tried their best to live long enough to fight another day. In my view there is silver lining that we need to look at and consider. The fact that organisations are not allowed to retrench has forced certain companies to look at the people with a long-term view.

Most leaders have probably had to wonder how they are going to ensure that their people are resilient. Do they have team members who innovate and add value to the organisation during these testing times? Do they even have resilient people or are they just waiting for the inevitable end? Can they really train people and make them resilient? How can your team members be part of your recovery plan? What can they do to avoid losing the capabilities they need to operate meaningfully for the duration of the State of Public Emergency and beyond?

The above questions have forced companies to reimagine the future of work. The truth is that no organisation can operate to its full potential without resilient people. In the normal business cycle, new teams come on board; new business streams open, operations or production sites launch or close; new markets develop, and technology is introduced. All of this provides fresh opportunities – and risks.

The best analogy I have seen of people-focused resilience planning reframes employees as your organisation’s immune system, ready and prepared to anticipate risks and ensure they can tackle challenges, fend off illness and bounce back more quickly.  So, how do you supercharge your organizational immune system to become resilient?

COVID-19 has helped many organisations realize they were not as prepared as they believed themselves to be. Now is the time to take stock and reset for the future. All the strategies and plans prior to COVID-19 arriving in Botswana need to be thrown out of the window and you need to develop a new plan today. There is no room for tweaking or reframing. Botswana has been disrupted and we need to accept and embrace the change. What we initially anticipated as a disease that would take a short term is turning out to be something we are going to have to live with for a much longer time. It is going to be a marathon and therefore businesses need to have a plan to complete this marathon.

Start planning. Planning for change can help reduce employee stress, anxiety, and overall fear, boosting the confidence of staff and stakeholders. Think about conducting and then regularly refreshing a strategic business impact analysis, look at your employee engagement scores, dig into your customer metrics and explore the way people work alongside your behaviours and culture. This research will help to identify what you really want to protect, the risks that you need to plan for and what you need to survive during disruption. Don’t forget to ask your team members for their input. In many cases they are closest to critical business areas and already have ideas to make processes and systems more robust.

Revisit your organisational purpose. Purpose, values and principles are powerful tools. By putting your organisation’s purpose and values front and center, you provide clear decision-making guidelines for yourself and your organisation. There are very tough and interesting decisions to make which have to be made fast; so having guiding principles on which the business believes in will help and assist all decision makers with sanity checking the choices that are in front of them. One noticeable characteristic of companies that adapt well during change is that they have a strong sense of identity. Leaders and employees have a shared sense of purpose and a common performance culture; they know what the company stands for beyond shareholder value and how to get things done right.

Revisit your purpose and values. Understand if they have been internalised and are proving useful. If so, find ways to increase their use. If not, adapt them as necessities, to help inspire and guide people while immunizing yourself against future disruption. Design your employee experience. The most resilient, adaptive and high performing companies are made up of people who know each other, like each other, and support each other.

Adaptability requires us to teach other, speak up and discuss problems, and have a collective sense of belonging. Listening to your team members is a powerful and disruptive thing to do. It has the potential to transform the way you manage your organisation. Enlisting employees to help shape employee experience, motivates better performance, increases employee retention and helps you spot issues and risks sooner. More importantly, it gives employees a voice so you can get active and constructive suggestions to make your business more robust by adopting an inclusive approach.

Leaders need to show they care. If you want to build resilience, you must build on a basis of trust. And this means leaders should listen, care, and respond. It’s time to build the entire business model around trust and empathy. Many of the employees will be working under extreme pressure due to the looming question around what will happen when companies have to retrench. As a leader of a company transparency and open communication are the most critical aspects that need to be illustrated.

Take your team member into confidence because if you do have to go through the dreaded excise of retrenchment you have to remember that those people the company retains will judge you based on the process you follow. If you illustrate that the business or organization has no regard for loyalty and commitment, they will never commit to the long-term plans of the organisation which will leave you worse off in the end. Its an absolutely delicate balance but it must all be done in good faith. Hopefully, your organization will avoid this!

This is the best time to revisit your identify and train your people to encourage qualities that build strong, empathetic leadership; self-awareness and control, communication, kindness and psychological safety.  Resilience is the glue that binds functional silos and integrates partners, improves communications, helps you prepare, listen and understand. Most importantly, people-focused resilience helps individuals and teams to think collectively and with empathy – helping you respond and recover faster.

Article written by Thabo Majola, a brand communications expert with a wealth of experience in the field and is Managing Director of Incepta Communications.

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