There are several words we’ve been hearing a lot lately: ‘authentic’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘pivot’, but they’ve each taken on a different layer of meaning since we were introduced to another all-too-common word earlier this year: COVID-19.
‘Authentic’ is commonly used in the world of communications and politics. Ironically, it’s been a somewhat manufactured term to mean ‘genuine’; ‘the real deal’. But this crisis has seen people and organisations show their true colours, and if the reality doesn’t match the talk, the stories and messages they shared during good times can seem very inauthentic.
But at Shine we have also been lucky enough to have witnessed true authenticity first-hand.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust lived by their guiding principles of whanaungatanga, orangatanga, wairuatanga, mana whenua, manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, tikanga and mauri in rapidly putting together their COVID-19 online hub when the crisis struck. Created with their principles in mind, as well as TALT’s strategic vision and mission, the hub has proven a valuable and valued resource for whānau and hapū.
‘Sustainable’ is often thought of in terms of resource use, but the virus has many people worried about the economic sustainability of their business – or even entire industries. Working to survive in order to thrive again takes grit, guts and the support of others. To sustain our communities, we all need to contribute to our local economic ecosystem.
One example we have been privileged to observe is Priority One – Tauranga’s economic development agency. Their team has been working to create and adapt resources, web support tools, advice and advocacy for businesses left reeling from recent events while continuing to champion Tauranga as a great place to work and do business.
‘Pivot’ has gone from being conceptual management-speak for ‘try something else’ to a practical response to dramatic change. Many businesses have had to change not just how they work, but what they do, and the amount of entrepreneurial spirit in our communities is remarkable.
At Shine we have been impressed by the way our local tourism operators have thrown themselves into a completely new visitor strategy focusing on domestic tourism. Household names like Skyline, Te Puia and Redwoods Treewalk had well-established, well-tested and effective business and marketing plans that they had to throw out to start from scratch. The fact that they were able to produce such professional, enticing and heart-warming calls for kiwis to come see them is testament to their adaptability.
These are just a few examples of the strength, creativity and resilience we have seen in our clients and our communities. As we work through the challenges together, we will continue to celebrate the local businesses who have demonstrated the true character behind the buzzwords.