In the midst of chaos, it’s people who matter

South Africa is still reeling from the shock of the looting and destruction unleashed last week on the roads and in the cities and malls of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng – Pietermaritzburg in particular.

With buildings gutted, stock and equipment looted and infrastructure destroyed, rebuilding seemed impossible. Many streets were knee deep in refuse. Where could we start? Yet men and women of all ages, races and backgrounds gathered on the streets and in shopping centres and started to clean.

While trying to bring order into my study last week, I unearthed a 1989 diary in which I had written a quote from Goldsmith and Clutterbuck’s book, The Winning Streak (1984):

‘In the end, productivity and profit come more from making the most of the people in an organisation than from any other resource.’

Our hope, whether we are looking at our organisations, our families, our communities or our nation as a whole, lies in the people around us.

Acknowledge your team. Step out of your meetings for a while, move away from your office and wander around in their space. Acknowledge what they are doing and learn about their challenges – how they get to work, how they work and how they get home.

What you discover may excite, challenge or motivate you, but it will certainly change your perspective, and that is always a good thing to do.

Then call Simply Communicate to discuss your and your team’s training and development needs.


Ian Webster

From Methodist minister to Customer Relations manager in a computer bureau to HR Manager in a newspaper printing and publishing company. Now focussing on training and developing people, people-management consulting and writing and editing.

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