When the winds of change blow, some build walls, whilst others build windmills.
A Chinese proverb

Every day, new business models disrupt established ones. Disruptive change is now the new normal. Within a business context this is good news as it creates more value for customers.  In politics, however, recent disruptive changes have been divisive - from Brexit to Trump to Zuma.

The question is how do we lead in a divisive and divided world where the rhetoric of nationalism, tribalism, factionalism and self-interest are building more walls instead of more social cohesion? Do you share the belief that the solution lies in thinking differently about change and progress?

I recently had the privilege of attending a management and leadership programme with 38 delegates from 17 countries. Three things stuck with me:

  • Diversity and collective debates lead to higher quality ideas.
  • Irrespective of how diverse people are, they will thrive if they are in an ecosystem that fosters relationships, connection and trust.
  • The “wicked” problems of our world or business can only be solved if we change the way we think i.e. from transactional- to more integrated-, mutual- (or inclusive) and transformational thinking.

Dr. Lalit Johri (68), the director of the programme, shared a poem with us: “Where the Mind is Without Fear”. He has been in teaching for over 40 years and has been reading this poem every morning since the age of 8 - a humbling and inspiring thought. Attending school in India, he and his fellow students were taught the deeper meaning of the poem as they progressed through their formative school years. How powerful could this be for any nation? When I read the poem for the first time, I paused and thought what meaningful impact I could make if I lived this poem every day of my life. I hope it touches your spirit as it did mine.

Where the Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments;
By narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way;
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee;
Into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom;
My Father, let my country awake.

Click here for a line-by-line explanation of the poem.

Momentum at Marathon

After a busy year in 2017, 2018 has been a year of putting shoulder to the wheel to embed the changes in our main business units i.e. Consulting, Capital, Insure and Wealth.

Here are some milestones we would like to share:

    • The building of our new head office was delayed. We now plan to move in early in the new year. We are excited to welcome you at our new address: Marathon House, Springfield Office Estate, 109 Jip de Jager, Bellville in 2019.
    • Marathon Wealth is now licenced with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority. We also welcomed two experienced financial advisors, Hector Viljoen and Jacques Wege, to our team and we are fully operational with three Wealth professionals who can help you with your lifestyle and wealth creation needs.
    • We have also started a journey to re-fresh our logo. It will be a subtle change to reflect what Marathon is and what it has grown into, but it will be integrated in the normal course of business.
    • Following the brand consolidation exercise in our group in 2017, we embarked on a brand refreshment journey and decided to make a few subtle changes. One of these being our strapline, “Break your own record”. Our new group strapline will be “Think Further” and we will launch it when we move into our new offices in 2019. The thinking behind “Think Further” is that progress in our businesses and personal finances will only come when we “think further” than the norm, when we shift our current learning, beliefs and assumptions.

 

A big thank you

In tough economic times, we understand the value of loyal clients and supporters. Thank you for doing business with us and for allowing us to live our grander vision of making a meaningful difference to life, business and society.

Let’s Think Further

When you need a trusted advisor to help you to think further about your business or personal finance goals, the Marathon team is ready to support you. Please call us for a coffee, visit our offices or go to our website (www.marathongroup.co.za).

Have a memorable, happy, restful and safe festive season.

Thank you for allowing us to be your thinking partner!

Alwyn Rossouw, Marathon directors and team.