In most countries, the age of 18 is when you are officially and legally regarded as an adult, which includes both the ability to enjoy certain rights and the requirement to fulfill certain duties or responsibilities.
To equip you for this new era, some people would tend to share some wise words with you, words like “this is the best time of your life”, and so many others. It is always left to oneself to interpret, or to forget.
It was during the first part of this year that the realisation dawned on us that time had flown rather quickly, and that we were indeed turning 18 in August of 2016. Whilst birthdays in general are a time to be merry and to celebrate, it is also a time during which to reflect on how far you have come and where you are heading.
During this period of reflection, we embarked on a process of putting a framework in place to protect and retain ASL’s identity in the present but also enable the business to really lean into the future. This framework is guided by a vision and constructed on a number of guiding principles, namely growth, leadership, professionalism and values.
The following brief exchange between the fictitious CEO and CFO, so frequently quoted, says something about the first of our guiding principles:
“The CFO asked: What if we invest in our people, and they leave?
To which the CEO responded: What if we don’t, and they stay?”
This is, however, not only a humorous exchange between two fictitious characters, but also typical of the instant gratification mindset on the one hand, and some of the challenges represented by changing generations. At ASL we know and believe that by growing and developing our people, we grow in our ability not only to deliver excellent service to our clients, but also in our ability to create opportunities for talent to flourish and for the business to grow sustainably.
As for the second principle, our forward-thinking leadership team acts with the best interest of the client in mind at all times, whilst identifying talent and mentoring and grooming the next generation of leaders in order to drive our organic growth strategy.
Regarding professionalism, it is true that purely because one belongs to a profession doesn’t necessarily mean you are a professional. We realise, though, that after complying with the ethics, standards and laws governing our profession, we have an obligation to stay current, to monitor the changing environment, and to be a deadline-driven organisation. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said, the only constant is change.
Finally, our business has grown and exists today, after 18 years, as a consequence of our values to which we are committed, since they govern our behaviour and guide our decisions. We take great care to ensure that all our people are aligned to these values, and that we keep on moving in the same direction. This ensures an environment conducive to taking us into the future.
The further strategic implementation and deployment of our vision now remains to be concluded towards the end of this calendar year. Its ultimate aim? To establish and entrench ASL as a dynamic boutique organisation that embraces organic growth by creating an environment where our people thrive and deliver excellent service.
We invite each of our stakeholders and valued clients to join us on this path of leaning into the future, and to keep us true to the values we hold dear!