Celebrating a decade of unleashing the potential of the office administrator

shape and own the future

Looking back to look forward with even more energy

In 2023, we celebrate the (EAC) Empowered Administrators Conference with lots of energy, having made major breakthroughs in being at the forefront of innovation with EAC delegates. When we started the conference, we were looking at issues of customer-centricity, tech-savviness, personal branding, and how EAC delegates could be the ‘neck that turns the head’, as Katie Katopodis, former 702 Radio executive said at the EAC in 2012. This was a breakthrough for many delegates as it then made them realise that their role was more essential than they thought.

I have seen the transformation of many office professionals. As a member of the university executive management, I have sat at meetings where executive management, with lots of appreciation, reported on the role that is played by their office administrators.  I personally thank the office administrators for implementing the lessons they have learned at our conference over the last nine years.

Today, the EAC has delegates who have seen it all; from promotions to academic progression, to dealing with life’s challenges, and giving guidance to others. Covid-19 showed us that our lives may change for either the better or best.

Office administrators needed to acquire new skills, and yes, they mastered those skills before others could. Most importantly, they allowed the speakers that we brought to the conference to impart upon them the new ideas they proudly implemented to change their offices, and some parts of their organisations. We know that office administrators had to repurpose their careers as that meant taking in more than ever before. Just recently, office administrators have had to deal with the biggest challenge of their lives – Covid-19. This scourge confined most of us home and forced us to adjust what was termed, ‘the new normal’. We know that most of you took great risks, ventured beyond your home fronts, and continued to work in your offices. You did this out of necessity, love for your jobs, and understanding. You did it with the passion that was more than the fear that everyone had. We know about the silent prayers that you said as you left your safe homes for the workplaces that had suddenly become more dangerous than hell itself. For that we honour you. We thank the God that protected you.

As we talk about the EAC 2023, the idea is to help you walk taller than before. We are talking about agility, the required flexibility that your offices need. The time for a mind shift is now. Our mind shift from now is how we boost our careers and life in today’s fast-paced learning environment. The time to get better insights for your office and make innovation the centre of your life and soul is NOW. You will note that I use the word NOW in capital letters. This is to show URGENCY, for we do not know what the next disruption is going to be. Let us therefore be always ready to make innovation our 7th sense.

This year we are focusing on how you could become more responsive, and be able to predict risks, challenges, and issues before they occur, understanding the type of stakeholders you serve, while maintaining your mental well-being. The two are twins. A breakdown in stakeholder management could lead to one’s mental breakdown. But do not panic, we will walk this journey forward together as this year’s EAC acknowledges change. As a team, we will go forward together.

I am glad to report that the EAC has been endorsed by MUT’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marcus Ramogale as “having a great potential to transform not only office professionals; but the entire services sector”. The Vice-Chancellor has some very constructive suggestions for the EAC. Watch this space!  We look forward to hosting you and hearing your feedback.