Dr Masashi Matsunaga, Senior Consultant, Oxentia
Innovation as a strategy for resilience
Innovation is a people’s business. There is no idea that can spark, develop, attract investment, and happen without networking, social interaction, and a good dose of emotional intelligence. This is why, in 2020, fast-forward two decades from the invention of the webcam, face-to-face communication is still considered the best way to do business: it allows us to gauge client motivation, adapt our language to different personalities, and understand which messages our clients are most likely to respond positively to. Even though we are equipped with all the technology tools for video calls, it is not surprising that business-people continue to travel long ways to meet their stakeholders in person. Similarly, conferences and events are still, in most sectors, the heart pumping blood into businesses of different sizes.
Until recently, it was easy to take for granted the meetings and encounters that businesses need in order to launch, grow, and develop. We would not necessarily take for granted the effectiveness of our face-to-face interactions at social gatherings, but we certainly did not consider unthinkable to fly to the other end of the world to catch up with a client or to close a deal. In the time of a global pandemic, mobility around the world, and our perception of in-person communication with it, is changing.
From February this year, most business travel across the world has been cancelled or postponed due to the spread of COVID-19, undoubtedly with repercussions on the ability of organisations to continue to establish new partnerships and nurture existing ones. The impossibility to hold face-to-face meetings is even more limiting for businesses wishing to interact with clients and partners overseas, where language mediators are often needed to ensure successful communication.
Now that we are called to social distancing in order to slow the spread of a new virus, we must continue to work with organisations across the world to enable innovation as a strategy to build resilience to face times of crisis. A lot of what we do at Oxentia involves connecting large corporates and SMEs with partners that enable them to access new markets; our wide networks allow us to continue to establish such partnerships successfully.
As a business, we are lucky to have a team of consultants whose expertise spans multiple technology sectors, who speak different languages, and who have insights into different business cultures. All these skills are especially vital to our clients now that business in-person communication, and its chemistry with it, is not immediately accessible.
It is currently impossible to predict how long it will take for organisations to resume business as usual and face-to-face interactions with partners and clients. In the meantime, at Oxentia we continue to leverage our knowledge, experience and networks to maximise opportunities for global economic growth.
Oxentia works with researchers, investors, large corporates and SMEs across multiple technology fields. To know more about what how we can work together during COVID-19, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.