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Ka Mate Kainga Tahi, Ka Ora Kainga Rua

opportunity to make change

I have been attending Te Reo Maori classes this year and in light of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori language week) I like to share how this newfound wisdom connects with the philosophy of Productivity People.

One of the things I really enjoy is discussing a Whakatauki (Maori proverb). Similar to a proverb in any language, the literal translation does little justice to the wide range of meanings that can be attributed to it.

Let have a look at:

Ka Mate Kainga Tahi, Ka Ora Kainga Rua

My understanding of the literal translation sits in the realm of “nothing goes home the first time, life will go home the second time”

Which can be explained with in a range of ways:

“From adversity comes opportunity to make change”

“If something does not bring benefit the first time around, it will the next”

“If one thing fails, another opportunity will come up”

“If one door closes another one opens”

A common thread is perseverance combined with hope to keep adapting towards a better outcome.

What a beautiful message in a time when we seem to have lost so many opportunities due to Covid19 and as a result we to need to reinvent the way we do business. I struggle to find any business that operates in exactly the same way as they did this time last year. We are all adapting to new ways of working: less travel, more remote, certainly no international travel and all the associated issues such a lack of air freight and international tourist.

Our work is based on the Continuous Improvement method, where failure is seen as an opportunity for improvement and mishaps are seen as chance to bring about change. Or in visual management language: Green is good, red is opportunity to make change. We see many successful businesses try out new ways of working, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. Using that failure to reflect and get it ‘more right’ the next time.  We can no longer rely on doing the same as we have been doing for the last 10 or 20 years and expecting the same level of result. A continuous Improvement way of thinking is imperative to being successful. Covid19 has shaken us out of complacency and forced us to plan-do-check-act and we will be better for it in the long run.

Our economy has been dealt a huge blow, but kiwis are adapting and finding new ways to make a living. On the news this morning Xero reported an increase in revenue for SME for the last quarter and even though GDP is down, it is down by 12% and not the 16% that treasury was expecting. Kia Kaha, be strong and don’t give up hope because:

Ka Mate Kainga Tahi, Ka Ora Kainga Rua

About the author: Liddy Bakker is the Director of Knowledge Management at  Productivity People