**[A new week, 7 a.m. Monday morning at Strategy Nigeria Limited. Organizations are bemoaning the loses of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, organizations that can stem the storm has collateral gain accrued to them]**
Sophie: *[As she places files in front 6 chair on the conference table]* I have to setup the screen for the beamer in case we will be needing it. *[Chinwe looks into the conference room]* Good morning Chinwe.
Chinwe: *[Holding on the door as she speaks]* Sophie, you must have gotten in very early this morning.
Sophie: Somehow traffic from my area today wasn’t as bad as usual. *[Finishing setting up the conference room, walking towards Chinwe and pause]* Edward called me yesterday to mention we’ll need to start the Wednesday with an early morning meeting over a virtual meeting he had with one of our client.
Chinwe: *[As both exit the conference room]* Sophie, I admire the dignity with which you carry out your duty.
Sophie *[With a slight bow]* Thanks for the completement. *[Talking as she turns]* I really most go send a reminder invite to all so they can see it on their handheld devices to get here quite on time *[Chinwe smiles in admiration and then walks to her office space]*
**[8 a.m. In the conference room of Strategy Nig. Ltd]**
Edward: *[Step into the conference, walking to be seated as Duru also walked in]* Come on in guy.
Duru: *[Steps to the door closest to the exit to the conference room]* Thanks dude. *[Paused before sitting down]* Now wait a moment, you are on the wrong chair.
Edward: *[Smiling to the right side of his chic]* Guy, I can seat on anywhere. *[Gesturing towards the chair]* I’ll rather you take that chair today. *[Sophie walks into the conference room]*
Sophie: I eavesdropped on the offer made by Edward. I agree Duru, you should take that chair *[Point to the same chair as Edward]*
Duru: Sophie, and you too?
Sophie: *[Gets herself set for the meeting]* Just making my input.
Busola: *[Stepping in as if walking on the red carpet]* Hi good people, everyone checkout my new outfit. *[Everyone casting a stare at Busola]*
Duru: *[Sarcastically]* As if you will pay us for doing so.
Busola: *[Step to stand beside Duru’s right]* You are simply busting my bubble. Can’t you commend something nice?
Edward: *[Arms folded leaning back on chair]* We’ll just report him to his wife.
Busola: *[Turn to Edward, punctuating every word]* Edward, you are on my chair.
Edward: *[Smiling, leans forward, arms still folded]* Busola, your dress is nicely made *[Extends both hands forward side by side, palms open stretched out]* and it makes you look elegant as well. *[Arms folded again and leans back on chair]* I just want us to feel free and sit down where ever we want. *[Extends left hand towards the chair]* So be my guest you sit over at that chair.
Sophie: *[As Bruce and Vincent walk into the conference room. Looking up at Busola]* You just got a well deserved complement and that speaks for all of us.
Bruce: *[walks in with Vincent right behind him]* Your voices have been all through the corridor. *[Crosses beside the conference to sit at right of Edward]* Let me just go sit down and save my comment for the last.
Busola: *[Sitted already]* I will want to hear your saved comment for the last.
Bruce: Yes ma’am
Vincent: I will just take my sit beside Sophie. *[Slides the chair back to sit down]*
**[All sit a chair apart recognizing social distancing]*
Bruce: It is good to see we all recognize and are strictly adhering to the safety guidelines for working during the pandemic. *[shifts chair closer to table, elbows on table, palms clapped in prayer form]* The virus is still active and people are getting infected. *[Appropriate gestures to his words]* If we had listened to the presentation of the SG of the Federation and chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha, on COVID-19 of September 01 2020, we’ll note that any seeming flattening of the curve in the country is as a result of states not forwarding samples for testing as they should. *[Stares as everyone as he speaks]* Lets not relax our guard and that of our families.
Edward: Thanks Bruce. That’s surely an awakening to all of us. *[Nodding in appreciation and staring at Bruce]* Appreciate the passion with which you express those reminders.
Sophie: *[Cutting in]* Thanks Bruce
Bruce: *[Complementary bow of the head]* Thanks to you too Sophie for making available hand sanitizers in front of us all. All feel free occasional to lower your face mask a little under your nostrils to take in more oxygen.
Edward: Once more thanks Bruce, you have been doing a good job our HSE requirements and expectations. *[Stands up in front of chair]* We all most had read the little summary I sent yesternight of my virtual meeting with the chairman managing director of our client. *[Leans on conference table]* Our client wants us to come up business case analysis that will be presented to investor’s stakeholders.
Busola: Did our client state clearly what the business case analysis is to achieve?
Edward: *[Hands off the conference table]* Good question. Yes, he did. Stakeholders are proposing reduction in the company’s overhead as a way of maximizing the company’s profit margin. However, management is not accepting that reduction in overhead would bring significant difference in the company’s profit margin operating in the pandemic.
Vincent: *[Reclines in chair]* Are we then to play the devil’s advocate?
Duru: We do the dirty job others will not want to do.
Edward: You may ask to play the devil’s advocate but not advocacy for evil. Ironically our job may be viewed as dirty. *[Sits back on chair]* Before we proceed, please Sophie, give the profile of our client.
Sophie: *[Sits slanted on her chair and holding a file on her right hand rested on the conference table]* Our client have been actively engaged in the industry for approximately 35 years. Has offices in 16 states of the federation. Has a little above 50,000 staff combined. Apart from its own head office building in Lagos, offices in 15 states are buildings on lease. That’s all we must work with.
Chinwe: Are you kidding me. Is that all the data we have?
Edward: Yes Chinwe. However, if we ask the right questions, we are sure to collate more data that will help in the required business case analysis report. *[Stands up, pace slowly to the screen and, turning around to face the team]* We have to be balance in our analysis. Something on my mind worthy of our consideration and should be part of our business case analysis report. *[Arms folded, stand astride]* Has anyone giving thought to collateral gain COVID-19 pandemic brought on organizations that kept a certain level of operations and aspiring to progress further amidst the pandemic?
Busola: Collateral gain? How do you mean?
Edward: All firms are bemoaning loses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic but not highlighting unplanned collateral gain that have accrued. *[As he walks back to sit down]* Some organizations have managed to keep the business going with its employees working from home. Its more than 5 months and still counting since the lockdown and relaxed lockdown. *[Both hands on the table]* With employees working from home within this periods, think of the gain that has accrued to such organization from none purchase toiletries, dispensable water, groceries, cost of internet.
Duru: Cost of maintaining staff buses, purchase of diesel to power heavy generators. The pandemic also made it obvious that most organizations do not need elaborate buildings if some of its staff can conveniently work from home with or without the pandemic.
Bruce: Will not be out of place for organizations to start putting pandemic policies in place as part of their HSE plan.
Vincent: I see where all of this is headed. We will have to see the financial books of our client, extract what the monthly recurring expenditures had been on all these mentioned from all branches. Then make a case for collateral gain staying operational in the pandemic.
Edward: Exactly my point. If we all agree, lets have Vincent lead the team of three to work on the collateral gain of our client.
Duru: Having Vincent lead the team is not a bad idea.
Chinwe: We should have Duru on the team
Busola: I agree.
Edward: Duru, is there any reason you should not?
Duru: I am good. I will suggest Sophie is added so she gets used to the operations of Strategy Nigeria Limited.
Chinwe: Sophie is our baby so I don’t think there is any of us that does appreciate that adding her to the team will broaden her scope of what we do.
Edward: From our respective body language, I reckon we all agree.*[Unanimous response: Yes!]* So we have Vincent as team lead, Duru and Sophie. What is the delivery time?
Vincent: If we can get these data’s from our client’s head office in Lagos, starting from today Wednesday, we can be ready for delivery next week Wednesday. However, if we will have to get the data from the branches, two weeks will be required.
Busola: *[Stands up]* If the timeline from our client will accommodate it, I feel we should allow two weeks irrespective of where the data is collated
Edward: Our client is to make a presentation at the investor’s stakeholders meeting by the 25th of the month, which is 3 weeks from now. So, we do not have all the luxury of time.
Sophie: We will have to demonstrate our report in a presentation to our client.
Chinwe: Girl, you are on point.
Edward: That’s not all to our business case analysis. Let us grab a cup of coffee and reconvene in 20 minutes.
………….To be continued.
Categories: Soap Opera