Lisa Steingold
Lisa Steingold

Changing the future

by Lisa Steingold. How we change and influence the future, lies in the human-centered skills and adaptability we possess as people, irrespective of education.

by Lisa Steingold. Recently one of my mentors, Barbara Walsh from Metaco, shared an article with me on A Founder’s Guide to Writing Well. The article made me realise that there are skill sets that go a long way to ensuring success in various contexts, especially the world in which we find ourselves now. Skills that have more to do with being human, than the typical technical skills associated with a particular industry. Sure, technical skills will get you in the door; but once inside you need to keep moving.

Fast forward to 2020 and all that it’s presented us with, and many of us have found ourselves having to create the ‘doors’ ourselves, build our own momentum and overcome challenges we’d never even imagined. In a post pandemic world, I hesitate to speculate that an MBA is not the most coveted of career assets. The ability to connect with others, to bring ideas to fruition, to embrace change, to write, and learning as a lifelong characteristic (as opposed to the specific time period associated with qualifications), are far more instrumental now than have been given credit for.

I finished university with a B Com (Honours) in Sports Management excited about all the opportunities in the world. At university I was a true entrepreneur with not one but two of my own businesses and a part time job on the side. As my mom had charged me prime interest rate on my first car, I didn’t see much choice outside of the hustle. Once I had learnt and comprehended the power of compound interest, I was not going to let money go down the drain. When I wasn’t shopping for executive clients in my shopping business; I used to bunk lectures for my job as receptionist at what is now Cycle Lab. I also had a sports massage business with a number of regular clients. I had to catch up on lectures on weekends, but it was worth it.

For many years I’ve longed for the golden halo an MBA would bestow on me, but what I’ve come to realise in the past few months, is that my past was preparing me for 2020 and beyond. I see now that the learning I gained in that time was far greater than any degree. Makes me wonder what we are all learning now that will prepare us for the future?

Covid has hurt many businesses and people; but how we make change and influence the future, lies in the human-centered skills and adaptability we possess as people, irrespective of education. Whilst the news media would often have us believe that the world is falling apart, I’ve recently encountered a number of examples of businesses and people achieving fantastically in the face of Covid because of their ability to adapt, learn and connect. Cakey by Davy, Ukheshe and The Baker Brothers are all success stories born out of desire, learning, adaptability, necessity and the ability to connect with others. These businesses are constantly building, learning and connecting with their communities. There were no strategic marketing plans, in fact no marketing teams at all. Just a desire to make change and influence the future.

So perhaps the key to influencing the future, wherever we may find ourselves, lies in what we already possess, not what has been lost? And perhaps that we need only brush up on our inherently human skills to create the future we wish to seek.


Lisa Steingold is consulting Head of Marketing for Metaco; the author of ‘Cut the Crap; the Power of Authenticity for Brands’; and a Chartered Marketer. She has a passion for tech, disruptive thinking and behaviour change.


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