“Like a lot of business concepts, innovation is so much easier to define than do!
Yet one of the valuable lessons 2020 has given us is that we are better off (as businesses and as individuals) when we get comfortable with the idea of change.
CEO Fiona Kesby talks about how Virtual Assistants can help your business be more innovative in this episode of All In!
All In is brought to you by Go Virtual Assistants, an awarding-winning managed operations business in sunny Cebu in the Philippines!”
Gem: Are you ready to go,
Gem and Jason: All In?
Gem: I’m Gem.
Jason: And I’m Jason.
Gem: Does your business have all the skills you need to get ready for post pandemic growth? Hello I’m Gem and welcome to All In, where we talk about how remarkable virtual assistants can help your business adapt and thrive, even in the midst of the pandemic.
Gem: Hello, Fiona! I understand that there’s some wonderful and exciting news for Global Office PH, the whole tribe and our clients!
Fiona Kesby: Hi, Gem. Yes, we do have wonderful news for the whole tribe. Last September the 21st, we were awarded a silver medal in the Asia Pacific Stevie Awards for 2020. It’s our first Stevie and our category was ‘Innovative Management in Business, Product and Services Industry’. Of course, the ceremony took place online. A few days after that the organizers of another prestigious Business Award program, the Asia CEO Awards reached out to us to let us know that we were chosen as part of the ‘Circle of Excellence’ in the SME Company of the Year category. And then we found out that we were awarded a ‘Business Excellence’ in the Biz Awards, which are presented by the world confederation of businesses. Previous winners for those awards include the likes of Microsoft, American Airlines, and Sheraton, just to name a few big brands. And this year, the award ceremony was supposed to take place in Doha, but of course with the pandemic, that’s now most likely to take place online. And then there is the announcement of the ACES Awards, and we are awarded Asia’s Most Promising SME.
Gem: A wonderful news and a big congratulations to everyone. The Go-VA tribe has certainly thrived in the midst of a pandemic. And as a message you and Matt have shared to everyone, the Go-VA tribe has not let a good crisis go to waste.
Fiona Kesby: Oh that is so true, Gemstar. And it’s such a great honor to gain these recognitions in any given year. And somehow, it feels more rewarding to receive these honors in 2020, which is no doubt the most challenging year for, you know, all businesses within the last century.
Fiona Kesby: Now these honors remind us that every crisis that happens bring with it the seeds of the next great opportunities, and we just need to be more driven than ever. We need to stay humble and keep on discovering new skills, ideas, and even business models. And we choose to show up every single day.
Gem: Now, Fiona in your experience, what inspires innovation? And, how do we stay innovative during a crisis like a pandemic?
Fiona Kesby: Innovation, in the simplest terms, is the introduction of a new idea or a new way of doing things. And like most definitions, it’s so much easier to say than do. It takes extra courage and discipline to innovate during a crisis. So like COVID-19, because the natural tendency, when most people feel unsure or fearful, is to want to retreat, at least for a while. And there’s that temptation to be more conservative than usual, because times are tough. And we do need to be prudent, especially about how we use resources.
I love what the poet William Blake said about innovation. “What is now proved was once only imagined.” Isn’t that great? It’s a reminder that to be innovative, we have to choose to be different. Or as the Asia CEO Awards criteria put it, we have to go after pioneering achievements, we have to imagine how different the situation could be and then figure out how we’ll get there. Now it’s so much easier to take the well-worn path and to do what most others in our industry or field are doing. Yet, that’s not at all imaginative. It doesn’t change things for the better.
And if there’s anything we’ve learned this year, it’s that we are better off when we get comfortable with the idea of change, when we embrace change instead of avoiding or resisting it. When we first decided to offer private medical insurance to all the tribe, starting on day one, we were told that it wasn’t such a good idea, you know, wait the six months as everyone else was doing in them, some companies even waited a year. This pandemic has shown us how important the decision was. The next innovation we are pursuing in this area is providing telemedicine service for up to six dependents for each team member. People need to access medical advice, but don’t feel safe going to clinics or hospitals at the moment. And also in Cebu City, there has been no public transport. It has been really difficult to access, basic doctor and hospital care.
So our dev team have built a platform based on the quicklook.to technology that allows organizations to provide remote video support. And it was designed with the needs of trade services and tech support departments in mind. And then we saw that we could be using this platform to connect doctors and nurses, with people who need their advice. So that’s what we want to provide next.
Gem: That’s amazing. You are taking the value of care to a whole new level, and this crisis gave way to this opportunity. Now, how can small or medium companies which have more modest resources than larger companies, keep on innovating?
Fiona Kesby: While it’s true that innovation often requires serious investments, it’s also driven by other factors like culture. It’s important for businesses to stay open to learning, in fact, invest time to learn and show leadership by example. One of the best decisions we’ve made so far was to introduce a Chief Happiness Officer, whose job was to make sure that everyone in the tribe felt valued, safe and happy. Now, that was an idea inspired by Zappos, the online shoe store that’s known for its exceptional customer service and its culture. And when I had the chance to visit the Zappos culture camp in Las Vegas, that was one of the ideas that stood out to me. Now the challenge is to keep the culture as caring and kind as ever, even if our interactions are now mostly online. So keep lifting our engagement and morale so that everyone continues to feel safe and to deliver results and exceed expectations.
Every business can become more innovative. Here’s where virtual assistants and global teams come in. By working with highly skilled virtual assistants from the Philippines, business owners and their onshore teams can then delegate their core repeatable task. This way, business leaders can free up more of their time and devote their energy to innovation, which is crucial now that customers priorities and habits have changed so dramatically. So choose to innovate, rather than staying the same.
Gem: Indeed, taking massive action is the only real choice. Thank you Fiona for this inspiring chat once again, and congratulations!
Gem: Catch the future episodes of All In brought to you by Global Office PH. We’re driven to help businesses to scale and be a catalyst for people to exceed. Thanks for listening.
About Global Office Philippines
We help high growth-oriented business in Australia, UK, and the USA to extend their office offshore and build their global team. We do this by housing and caring for your team, in the enhanced productivity culture of our Philippines offices.
AU (+61) 2 7227 8809
US (+1) 302 207 2767
PH (+63) 32 410 7523
9th Floor, i1 Bldg, Jose Maria del Mar Street, IT Park
Cebu City, Philippines 6000