Avida Blog

Be careful not to become over-committed to commitment

We all place considerable emphasis on commitment. We work hard to confirm our people are both committed to our organisational vision, and to ensuring that customer expectations are being met. Our investment teams are measured, at least in part by their commitment to philosophy, process and portfolio construction. Why even most LinkedIn profiles feature commitment as a key personal quality.

But can commitment sometimes create liability?


Eavesdropping on webinars

I am a member of a management consultancy focused on the financial industry. I enjoy what I do.

It certainly has been an interesting few months, during which I have had many conversations with clients, prospects and peers. In addition, I have participated in quite a few webinars, some internal others external, and all of them fascinating because of the insights I have drawn from them. There are a few I have picked up recently that I find especially thought provoking.


The old normal strikes back

So, we are entering the next stage in the battle against COVID-19. Whilst we debate the merits of
new versus old slogans, seen as important to surprisingly many, real change is underway with more
fresh air time and garden centre re-openings to “look forward” to. Not here in Scotland though. We
move at a slower, more measured pace.


Meeting matters

Having spent almost three decades in the financial industry, I have met with many customers. I
hugely respect each one, committed as they have been to provide the best possible financial
outcomes and levels of service for their clients.


Looking out for what the future might look like

Organisations have had a lot to cope with in response to COVID-19. For many people this has resulted in a shift to homeworking, which has been a relatively smooth change for some, less so for others.

But with the peak of the outbreak having been declared, attention is now shifting to the “what next” phase. From the conversations we have been conducting with our clients, we note there are broadly three different visions of future work patterns leaders are having to consider.


How can I maintain the trust of my customers in a VC world?

We are all having to confront uncomfortable levels of change. In our work lives we have lost, at least temporarily, physical contact with colleagues, suppliers and customers. Mutual trust levels are being put to the test. This is important because in our experience, when trust breaks down governance and management issues typically emerge.


ESG and the institutional investor

As an institutional investor, if you weren’t already interested in ESG, then the increasing glow of the
regulatory spotlight is surely getting you there. If that’s the case, you may find some the following
thoughts and suggestions to emerge from a recent client roundtable on the subject useful.


The COVID-19 generation of leaders

Arguably, if ever there was a time to think outside the box it is now. As leaders we should be using some of the time being freed up in our diaries to strategize. The process should begin by accepting that we will never have all the answers and so should involve all our colleagues who can and will want to help. The key question to be addressed is what the major implications of the COVID-19 crisis will be for our businesses and whilst it’s impossible be sure, there are three potential risks that stand out.


The COVID-19 organisation

Organisations, regardless of the industry they are in, are currently facing headwinds they have not previously experienced. The individuals within them will be shaken by this and human nature, being what it is, dictates that we will all want things to return to normal as soon as possible. But the likely duration of this crisis means that the behavioural changes we are experiencing are likely to be with us for a long time. That makes it likely they will become embedded in our organisations. It can be observed that two broad behavioural scenarios are already emerging.


Getting through whilst keeping people engaged

What a few weeks it’s been.

For some people, successfully maintaining customer relationships whilst balancing the domestic
priorities associated with homeworking has been their principal focus. For others, it has been
dropping out of their business temporarily having been furloughed or worse still as a result of illness.
For everyone, the past few weeks has involved a deeply uncomfortable period of change.