Our Business Breakfast meeting this month was held via Zoom and featured Jacqui Low, who is known to many of the members as a former Assistant on the Master’s Court, Executive Chairman of Indigo and Chairman of Partick Thistle Football Club. The members and guests who attended were treated to a highly interesting and thought-provoking presentation where Jacqui spoke of her approach to business in these challenging times.
Jacqui stressed that we would not be “returning to normal” and that instead there will be a new landscape for us to live and work in. Building on relationships with our team, clients and suppliers is critical and whilst the term “pivot” has become somewhat overused, it does encapsulate the attitude that many businesses have embraced. For example, many have seen the use of technology accelerate over the last few months. Flexibility of thought and creative thinking had enabled the team of 80 employees at Partick Thistle to function in a different way and to live its values as they provided 25,000 meals to people within a two-mile radius of the ground.
Making changes to keep a business relevant is going to be an essential approach for the next couple of years as what we face will not disappear overnight and progress will not be linear in the coming months.
Jacqui also talked about how “working from home” does not help the image of a team and instead “working from here” is a more useful phrase – building a team’s relationship through the use of technology, both formal and informal, can help to keep a company’s culture alive and enable employees to thrive, even in uncertain times.
The floor was opened to questions and it became clear that whilst Edinburgh in the past had claimed the title of the Home of Enlightenment, we have an opportunity now for a Second Enlightenment. Through businesses and the non-profit sector, we can help to drive plans to ensure our city is prepared for events, such as these, and can help the local government bodies. Commerce at all levels should be given a platform to rebuild and grow to enable Edinburgh and Scotland to be attractive for investment and development.
The Master gave the Vote of Thanks.