If You Could Wave A Magic Wand To Change 1 Thing, What Would It Be?

Tayo Oviosu
Written by Tayo Oviosu

If you could wave a magic wand to change one thing, what would it be, and why?

Today, the leadership team of Paga kicked off our week-long annual strategy review. It is a time for us to get away from the day-to-day execution, reflect on our progress, refine our 18-month strategy, and bond with each other.

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Paga team is ready to go share a meal after our first session

This year we are spending the week in Hawasa, Ethiopia, which is located four hours south of Addis Ababa. It is the first time we have held the week-long strategy review outside of Lagos…and we chose Ethiopia because it is a country dear to us at Paga as our engineering team is based there.

To get the week going I asked everyone to answer a question:

“If you could wave your magic wand to change one thing, what would it be, and why?” 

I asked this for two reasons. First, as an ice breaker — a way for us to get to know each other better; but secondly, and more importantly, because I’ve been wondering what role our business could play in the world around us. What kind of company do we want to be? What principles do we want to stand up for? I felt this question could help start teasing the answers to these questions…I did not know what to expect, and was very impressed by the responses and passion behind them. There were a few themes…

Equality and eliminating discrimination was a major theme. No one should be discriminated against because of their differences — race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other reason. One person would eliminate organized religion because it has led to a lot of the evil in the world. Addressing the equality theme, one person would ensure that there was a global minimum wage, but another would go further and ensure that wealth is evenly distributed across all people in the world.

Ensuring that all people get a minimum education — with critical thinking skills at the core — was advocated. Education gives people a chance to compete in the world and to decide for themselves right from wrong. The world would be a much better place if everyone had a minimum level of education, they argued.

Survival of the human race came up in a couple ways — one person would eliminate all weapons of mass destruction…another would reverse the impact of climate change so that humans could last for much longer on earth.

One person would love to be able to determine and solve the needs of people just by meeting them because the person loves to help others (how cool would that be?!). Another person would wave a wand and solve the governance problems we have in Nigeria (that definitely could do with a good dose of magic)!

After hearing these responses (and sharing my own) I gave the team a challenge. What if Paga, as a company, starts working on these issues? In our own way, in whatever markets we operate, making the changes that we, as a team, agree we want to see in society…standing up for the principles we believe in! How awesome would that be? I used Salesforce as an example of a company that consistently stands up publicly for what the team believes in…

We may not be able to wave a wand and change one thing, but we can work on making a difference in the communities we operate in, by ensuring that our company, Paga, reflects our values and the principles we believe and by standing up for them publicly. In our own way we can change the world around us!

This article was originally published on Medium. It is reposted here with the permission of the author, Tayo Oviosu.