4IR4U&Me -The Fourth Industrial Revolution for You and Me
This is the title of a research project and now published report by a group of South African PAs.
Every year the group of PAs/EAs that make it to the finals of South Africa’s PA of the Year (organised by PAFSA in SA) are given an assignment after the ceremony of the announcement of the titlebearer for the year – this being on the first Wednesday of September coinciding with Secretaries Day in South Africa.
As a group they are referred to as a tribe and work together on a project directly related to the state of the profession in relation to global work trends.
The PA of the Year 2019 tribe headed by Shirwyn Weber, the 2019 titleholder, and composed of Lize Momberg, Teressa Wood Wright, Hanlie Potgieter, Saffiya Ismail and Samantha Naidoo, were given the project titled 4IR 4U&Me where they would undergo research aligned to the title and publish their findings.
Soon after they started the 2020 worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic struck, and so the project became pronouncedly more aligned to address the new reality of work – even though the original four focus areas retained the same focus, the fourth one was elevated from the initial Making In-roads to The PA AVATAR.
This tribe faced more challenges than previous tribes as deadlines had to change a number of times due to the circumstances that affected the availability of people within time frames.
It is to their credit that the tribe members persisted and completed their work. The highlight of the research in this report is the creation of a PA AVATAR.