Freedom Day is a public holiday in South Africa celebrated on 27 April every year. It celebrates the freedom of South African people since 1994.
In our latest blog, we wanted to unpack what it means to be free in business from the perspective of an entrepreneur. In business, freedom has its own unique definition, but affects people of our beautiful rainbow nation just the same.
Summit Managing Director Matt Lambert has first-hand experience of what the truest meaning of freedom within the business sector signifies and why it is important to have discussions on freedom within a working environment on a constant basis.
Hard work pays off!
“I think there are a lot of misconceptions around freedom in business. I regard it as a host of strong processes within an organisation that ultimately result in increased productivity or success. Often if you don’t have these strong processes, the work becomes heavy, it becomes a strain. There needs to be a set of ways to implement actionable learnings that you don’t have to reiterate on a constant basis. It creates a sense of shared responsibility and trust,” Matt explained.
Matt has an immense passion for education, learning and development and business solutions, and looks at challenges within the education sector in our country, at a different angle. This stems from his broad knowledge in management and comes with loads of self-discipline over the years.
Coming from a place where fundamental structural issues regarding education in Africa is the central theme, Matt says that combining freedom in the mix comes with adding robust processes and sharing the heavy lifting.
“Freedom in business for me is having really vigorous processes which helps you lessen the heavy lifting on the brain, so you can reserve your energy for certain tasks or other critical elements in your department or for your customers etc. In my family, we have a mantra: ‘With self-discipline, comes freedom.’”
“With strict processes, comes freedom. Some think it may constrict you, but I don’t agree with that.”
Freedom after the Covid pandemic
The topic around mass remote working in life after Ccovid-19, is still up for debate. Matt says that whether it will have a massive beneficial effect on our economy is still unclear.
“The debate is still raging, has the big shift in remote working since the outbreak led to better outcomes? To make remote working effective, freedom definitely comes into play. At Summit, we were able to be effective in different ways, but it’s important to have the set systems in place.”
Matt says setting up strong rhythms are critical in any successful business. Getting clarity on how effective your communication processes are and identifying the focus or formal process of your meetings are essential.
“Make time for the informalities as well, have people touch base, or catch up with each other as a team. We need to realise that the pandemic has also resulted in people over communicating, which led to increased fatigue levels. But it’s essential to identify the correct work rhythms that works for your business and teams.”
“A lack of freedom leads to ‘paralysis’. This is, when your employees have no sense of accountability, and in return they won’t feel valued. Employees need to be committed and invested in what they do and giving employees the freedom to take ownership of their what their input and what they are contributing, will yield success.”
Creating a sense of empowerment, accountability, growth and freedom
Matt’s advice to up and coming entrepreneurs is to create room for growth, perspective, idea-sharing and a productive work space.
“I’m a big supporter of ideally being in the same office if possible.”
“From my own experience, using a combination of dynamic interventions when discussing a business approach, brainstorming together, it creates a great flow of ideas. Freedom comes in many forms, but in the end, a team effort, a place of trust, having you team together in one space, this works for me,” Matt concludes.
Essentially, freedom within business and freedom in life are unanimous. When you love your business, boundaries can be hard. Our businesses are extensions of us, but to gain freedom, making a discipline within your business a priority is key.