Although lockdown is easing, the jury is still out as to how and when this will end. The changes which we were forced into by the crisis have enabled many of us to take the opportunity to shake up our lives, our outlook and the way we do business.
Many of our clients tell us that they plan to make remote work a permanent option for roles that allow it. Other changes include embracing technology, innovation and accelerating the use of automation. Even more significant though is how our clients, business partners and friends have reflected on the human side to the crisis.
Pause, reflect, move forward
It may not feel like it at the time, but with every major change, we have a chance to develop new coping strategies and build our resilience. By shifting our mindset, we can learn to navigate fears, manage threats more effectively and achieve positive well-being.
At Square Mile, we have been fortunate enough to have the technology and culture in place to enable us to make a relatively smooth transition to becoming a remote working team. We’ve all adapted pretty well to the new routines, and most of us are enjoying the freedom that comes with working from home, especially when it comes to getting a better work/life balance, having time to exercise or spend time with the family. David and Martin have often asked themselves why we didn’t make the change sooner!
Build, Scale and Accelerate
From a business perspective, we’ve used this time to pause, take stock and this led us to develop a new proposition to help our clients get back on track and fulfil their potential, beyond simply supporting them with their accountancy needs.
We’ve given the Square Mile brand a bit of a face-lift, and re-invigorated the business with 3 core service areas which we can offer clients at different stages of their journey. The Build Programme is designed to establish strong financial foundations. The Scale Programme takes your business to the next level by extracting insights from data that fuels smart decisions and the Accelerate Programme, is to enable longer-term strategic growth.
More on that to follow, but if you’d like to have a chat with us about which programme is best for you, we’d be very happy to hear from you.
Innovation and Human Progress
We’ll leave you with a final thought on the silent miracle of human progress.
The UK’s largest investment trust, the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, has seen its value rise to a hardcore £11 billion, with holdings in firms such as Amazon, Tesla, Netflix and the ever present and vital Zoom. Here’s an excerpt from their annual report, published after the crisis hit:
“It is far harder to identify how and why the pandemic has changed our views. Generally, it’s perilously early to do so. It’s also dangerous to focus solely on one event however terrible. Two years ago this report quoted the late, great Hans Rosling. He frequently cited a global pandemic as his greatest fear. But he also warned that unusual and negative events warp our minds: ‘if we are not extremely careful, we come to believe that the unusual is usual: that this is what the world looks like.’ At some point he emphasised that we need to return to ‘the secret, silent miracle of human progress’.”
Unusual in its eloquence, the report is a reminder that behind all the bravado, and the OCFs, NAVs, Sharpe, Alpha, Beta and gobbledygook, investing is simply the act of backing innovation, development and human progress. And amidst all the global chaos, anger and uncertainty, we find that concept something strangely uplifting to hold onto.