Marios Psaltis: Opportunity for re-launch emerging from crisis
The pandemic represents one of the greatest challenges for leadership at institutional and enterprise level that highlights the underlying existence of uncertainty. The direction and fate of nations and businesses will be determined by their leaders’ management skills, vigilance, resolve and their agility in tackling the new unprecedented conditions.
The shock from the pandemic represents a defining moment where the power and potential of new technologies has been unleashed, enabling new employment models, new ways of providing goods and services and creative approaches for collaboration and innovation. It’s now indisputable and clear cut that technology can play a catalytic role and facilitate the endeavor to modernize the State and the transformation of businesses. The experiences we have lived through have demonstrated the great potential we have to adjust to new circumstances and re-emphasizes the need to accelerate our digital transformation, until recently little more than a strategic plan.
The pandemic has forced us to face the uncomfortable truth that Greece and its businesses have delayed in making the necessary investments in technology. We now need to step-up the pace of digital transformation, the success of which critically requires a change of culture and mindset so that we can turn adversity into opportunity for our nation, our businesses and our people. The fact that Greece has been relatively slow in embracing the digital world now represents a significant opportunity to support recovery from the crisis with technology as a key driver.
There’s a heightened and compelling case to seize this opportunity to adapt to the new world so as to create sustainable and resilient organizations that can excel. In parallel with the immediate and corrective actions being taken to manage the crisis there is therefore also a need to rethink, strategically redesign and reconfigure today for the future, based on a reinterpretation of facts and our new understanding of the world.
The economic impact of the crisis will be asymmetric as between countries, industries, businesses and people. The self-evident need for organisational transformation also demands that we upskill our workforce with the relevant knowledge and tools to enable the rapid and extensive transition to the digital economy. However, this has to be addressed across the entire community otherwise the risk of social tensions increases because of the likely widening inequalities between those that are enabled to adapt and those left behind.
At the national level, the effects of the crisis emphasize once again the structural problems of the Greek economy. Membership of the Eurozone has provided a short-term safety net against immediate adverse consequences. Excitingly, the EU recovery support programmes present a big opportunity to implement a longer-term plan that delivers new operating models and new industries that will foster national prosperity. Similarly, digital transformation is necessary at governmental level to make it friendly and effective, benefitting citizens and all businesses. We also need to offer significant incentives to attract technology skills, capabilities and foreign investment.
Finally, we have to invest in our education systems so as to cultivate the human capital that underpins the new operating models and in particular to give priority to the development of digital skills through an inclusive strategy that creates equality of opportunity and easy access to knowledge.
THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE
Sector: Assurance advisory & tax
Presence: 157 Countries
Employees Worldwide: 276.000
Head Office: Athens
Presence: Athens & Thessaloniki
Employees: Over 1.200