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    Message of the Week 17 - 21 January 2022

    Week 3
    paper with writing on it and an arrow gesture

    Looking back to look forward

    In times of crisis, it often helps to go back to basics, which in the case of business means refocusing on purpose – why do we exist? There is no getting away from the fact that businesses are intertwined with the customers we serve, the communities we operate in, our employees, suppliers and partners who make the service possible.

    It’s important to realise, that just as we are embedded, and operate, within larger socio-political contexts, we are also seen as key drivers that can, and should, have a positive impact on society. By asking the big question “Why do we exist?”, businesses can direct financial and operational resources to serve their purpose and have a positive impact on their community, country and even the planet.

    The relationship between business and society has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic and crises have evolved as businesses have adapted over the past two years. Research shows that younger generations are more likely than others to see large firms as socio-political actors that can have a positive impact on their communities.

    Since not all crises are created equal and different crises affects companies in different ways, it can be challenging to identify which ones pose a threat to specific businesses, their employees, their customers, and their communities. Today’s crises are also more complex and fast-moving than those from decades past.

    To answer the question of “How can we successfully respond to the challenges that lie ahead”, we need simply refer to Kyocera’s philosophy of ’What is the right thing to do as a human being?’. This illuminates the fundamental ethical and moral values at the heart of human goodness… We believe that decisions and actions in daily life should reflect the criterion of ‘What is universally right,’ and not ‘What best suits our own interests’.

    In addition to this, we believe that it is important to recognise our employees, team members, and colleagues are more than just “resources”, but as humans with lives beyond their jobs. Our employees are our first set of allies.

    Building a cohesive adaptive and resilient team that is prepared for the next era of uncertainty requires trust and transparency, and that starts with us being honest about the challenges, risks, and opportunities that lie ahead. We need to prepare for crises before they strike and doing that requires an ongoing strategy of proactive thinking and foresight — whether there is a crisis on the horizon or not.

    Constantly looking to our corporate philosophy and proactively strategizing for our future is how we create and enable a rewarding environment for everyone.

    I am looking forward to a productive and gratifying year ahead and I hope you are too.

    Werner Engelbrecht - General Manager - KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa

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