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PARTIAL LOCKDOWN TIME FOR INNOVATION

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The extension of the national partial lockdown is one of those events in our lives that we need to quickly adapt to.
We need to try and make the most of the quiet season, as hard as it seems at the moment.


We now find ourselves in a situation where we can either complain about the financially paralysing situation daily on social media, to our friends, relatives and whoever cares to listen, until it passes, or simply pick ourselves up and adjust to life as it is now. One idiom I love says “No use crying over spilt milk,” it means you should not get upset or feel sorry about something that has happened which you cannot really change or fix.


moving


You should keep moving forward instead of looking back at something bad which happened. And Covid-19 is something bad but we need to adjust to the life it is presenting. And we move forward by adhering to World Health Organisation and government Covid-19 regulations.
We also move on by feeding ourselves with the correct and accurate information especially from the official Government social media pages (they are quite informative) or the government website and authentic national news sources.


Being idle and engaging in time wasting activities is not a good idea right now. Well it never is. Instead developing your professional skills, while in self isolation is. This is not a holiday season, nor is it an extended vacation from government. After all some people who are home now are there without pay, so I see no reason why it should be treated as a break. And one of the skills one can consider is a home garden because at this time food security will be essential.


pandemic


One British writer, on the pandemic said, “None of us know where this is heading, but we can still learn from the moment.” He further notes that during times of crisis an opportunity for learning exists. And indeed we are learning on the go.


Even before the coronavirus outbreak, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs and Skills report four years ago had correctly predicted the most essential skills that we would need in this year. Those include Information Technology, which we are heavily reliant on. Even this feature will be emailed to my editor. Unlike four years ago, perhaps I would have delivered it on a memory stick.


Frustrated by the seemingly endless amount of homework from my daughter’s primary school teacher streaming through my WhatsApp every hour, I decided to take a break and refresh on the web this week. And I stumbled upon this very important report that predicted the importance of being techno savvy in the present day.


active


It also noted that as professionals we needed to adopt active learning with a growth mindset. The report said anyone in the future of work needs to actively learn and grow. A person with a growth mindset understands that their abilities and intelligence can be developed and they know their effort to build skills will result in higher achievement. They will, therefore, take on challenges, learn from mistakes and actively seek new knowledge.


The first time I heard of the word Zoom, I thought perhaps they meant the magnifying glass used to make pictures bigger. “Let’s have our next meeting on Zoom,” is now a common phrase. But for a technophobe it’s a scary phrase. I recall how I had to go step-by-step with someone on the phone to find out if I was downloading the right App. Thankfully I had the right App but I was still not in the meeting room. Imagine being late for a meeting. Only this time it’s a digital meeting.


warned


But we were warned of times like these. In crisis or not. In the Future of Jobs and Skills report summary it states, “Disruptive changes to business models will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. Many of the major drivers of transformation currently affecting global industries are expected to have a significant impact on jobs, ranging from significant job creation to job displacement, and from heightened labour productivity to widening skills gaps.”


That tells you, shape up or ship out. What worked yesterday will not work tomorrow.  And skills advancement is not a destination, it is a constant journey. Once you stop learning you die.
With many facing uncertain times due to layoffs caused by the pandemic, fresh skills acquisition and adapting with the times was four years ago already flagged for employees to move into.


In the report it has a whole feature on the need for leveraging flexible working arrangements and online talent platforms. It explains that as physical and organisational boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, organisations are going to have to become significantly more agile in the way they think about managing people’s work and about the workforce as a whole.

“Businesses will increasingly connect and collaborate remotely with freelancers and independent professionals through digital talent platforms. Modern forms of association such as digital freelancers’ unions and updated labour market regulations will increasingly begin to emerge to complement these new organisational models,” it predicted.


learn


We may not be there as a country but we need to learn and learn quickly. Because that is where the world is fast moving and is at. They are moving at zoom speed.
Watching the news on Eswatini TV (through YouTube, got to love technology) I heard of how already about 100 companies, in Hhohho, have asked government for financial support in terms of wages as income had reduced due to less trade. It was also reported that many have folded.

This means larger unemployment rates. More unemployment means hunger, hunger also fuels crime. Now how do we mitigate the devastating effects of this outbreak? We try to continuously stay on the front foot skills-wise.

This period will not go away overnight. And in the quiet season we might as well be learning and repositioning ourselves for jobs that will be required in this period. This is a time for innovation.

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Do you also think that the country's football season should be declared null and void?