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The Time of Changes and Changed Needs
The COVID-19 pandemic was a test for companies of all sizes, forcing most of them to change their former practice. Only the companies that were prepared to readily adjust their approach to the new time have managed to withstand economic pressure and even grow.

Sanja Manasijevski, Director of Legal Affairs and Commercial Projects at Hemofarm, shares with us her experience on how to be successful in the time of crisis.

On the impact of the pandemic on business

Irrespective of the size of the impact of the health crisis on the economy and changes to our daily lives, the fact is that change should be a constant in our work, whether driven by a pandemic or not. Stability lies in the corporate values and in our behaviour, but the business model must be constantly adjusted and changed.

The truth is that crises make us think and act faster. We have become more flexible, we have simplified many processes. Everything that seemed impossible or complicated before the pandemic, we have now changed overnight.

On the blend of the old and the new

It is important to find a balance between what was good before the crisis and new business models. Good leaders are expected to provide the work environment in which there is freedom, where mistakes are tolerated and learned from, in which hierarchy has been replaced by teamwork.

Flexibility is good, but I believe that there must be certain limits, discipline, individual responsibility as well as zero tolerance for incompetence and abuse of such flexibility. We should be moderate in all things.

On the strategy and tactics during the crisis

If the strategy does not follow the changes in the world around us, then it becomes limiting for growth. We live in a time when it is becoming absurd to talk about strategy in the traditional sense of the word because it implies predicting the future, and now it is difficult to predict even what will happen tomorrow.

For this reason, it is much more important to work on agility, entrepreneurship, building a supportive organizational culture and investing in people so that they can adequately respond to change and get only the best out of it. At Hemofarm, we have done a lot in this respect.

On the challenges of the legal profession

The biggest challenge for lawyers in business during the pandemic involved regulations changing on a daily basis, all of which had to be monitored and interpreted, and then organized and harmonized with new regulations.

The Corporate Lawyers Association, I am one of the founders of, helped us a lot. This association has created a great platform through which we could exchange experiences every day as well as follow new regulations.

On the importance of lawyers in business

Fortunately, the time has passed when corporate lawyers were excluded from business and whose only role was to know the regulations and to instruct colleagues on what is allowed. Lawyers are nowadays a part of the business, and we all have the same goal.

Lawyers, like other employees, need to be flexible, assess risk, respond quickly to growth opportunities and offer a solution. Lawyers are also expected to have what is nowadays called a ‘growth mindset’, to constantly develop professionally through effort, work, dedication, and learning.

On the balance of the pandemic

At a time of some earlier crises, the globalization of industry has not reached its current level. Raw materials are now at one end of the world, production at the other, and sales at the third. The companies that were not flexible and did not adapt to constant changes, went through the worst.

However, one of the phenomena is that, although such crises focus companies on achieving short-term goals, constant uncertainty has steered people and companies towards those values that are not seen in the balance sheets - the need to care more about each other and the planet.

Author’s article for BizLife