I acquired some of the best life and career lessons during my tenure as Group Human Resources Director, at a financial services company, in my 30s. The first female on the company’s Exco, I found myself plunged in a role where I had to understand people — and their psyche. No one wakes up each morning wanting to fail — this was one of the simple truths learnt during my journey there. What usually makes people fail is the work environment, the opportunities provided and the ability to make meaningful contributions. More so, this chapter brought me head-to-head with understanding the key drivers behind poor versus exceptional performers. When I acquired SystemicLogic in 2014, and set about transforming it into the disruptive entity that it is today, it was these earlier lessons that informed the company culture as it stands currently.

People build companies, not technology or digital processes — this is one of many glaring realities that the pandemic-induced lockdown period highlighted. SystemicLogic succeeds because of its talent. The power and value of experienced employees is second to none. I found it important to provide an environment where the team could create and self-disrupt freely because our future success rests on their entrepreneurial and disruptive mindsets being encouraged. Oftentimes, disruption is misconstrued for chaos and a lack of good governance. We have consistently proven that it is possible to be, both, creative and rooted in the traditional practices of running an ethical business.

At SystemicLogic, we take on business challenges daily, unravel the complexities that lie within and provide disruptive solutions. We do all of this with the clear mission of delivering quality work, paying immense attention to detail, exceeding clients’ expectations while ensuring that we make technology fashionable, fun and approachable. Though the culture at SystemicLogic is ever-evolving, we remain steadfast in delivering on the above promises. The team understands that exceeding expectations is about the self and not the team leads dictating what should be best practice. The trick, I learnt, is in making the team own and run with the company vision.

Four years ago at a SA investment summit , I asked business magnate Jack Ma if he had any sage advice to share with entrepreneurs headed for the five-year mark. His response was a simple: “Pat your self on the back you have survived and are still standing ” Much has been written about the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative effects on lives and livelihoods. As a company, we had two options at the height of South Africa’s COVID-19 crisis — to throw in the towel or seek new opportunities. We, instead, renovated our offices to reflect our creative and disruptive spirits. Ours is a space where ideas flow into execution, so it couldn’t be dull. We proceeded to innovate and were fortunate enough to acquire new clients. If there’s one habit that we should all step out of 2020 with, it is to pat ourselves on the back more and to remember that every crisis is, also, an opportunity to innovate.

That said, I choose to treat every day as though I’m in a crisis and remind myself that that nothing is a given — I still draw my resilience from these lessons learnt in the first three years of transforming SystemicLogic. My wish is for everyone to remember that where there’s life, there’s opportunity, growth and hope and that shifts are possible. As we prepare to close the curtain on 2020, we at SystemicLogic choose to sign out with innovation and self-disruption firmly clenched in our fists.

Here’s to more self-disruption in 2021!

Audrey Mothupi, Chief Hustling Officer