Independence or Interdependence, Part 1

by Pieter le Roux | September 20, 2022

Independence is one of those things that we start to long for at an early age. I look at my kids and realise that although they may seek our love, affirmation and security and a few other things; there is something they constantly yearn for… their independence.

Independence is defined as “the state of wanting or being able to do things for yourself and make your own decisions, without help or influence from other people”.1

In his book “The Measure of a Man”, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, writes “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent”.2

This takes me back to our beautiful South African word “ubuntu” that is sometimes also translated “I am because we are” that I wrote about in a previous article: thoughts on hope, community and ubuntu – a call to all South Africans to step up – wauko.

Interdependence is defined as follows “if there is an interdependence between two or more things, they depend on each other”.3


When building a sustainable business that is able to grow and add value to its stakeholders, having a vision and strategy in place is important, but of even greater importance is your people; people that unite around your vision and that build a culture that is underpinned by values.

The values or beliefs of an organisation need to create an environment where teamwork can flourish, but more importantly promote the interdependence between people, processes, cash flows and the organisation.

To understand this better, I provide a few examples below:

  • A sales person in an organisation cannot make a sale without a product or a service;
  • The marketing team cannot promote a brand or product that does not exist;
  • The finance team will have no work if a sale is not made, no products are produced, or no services are delivered;
  • Neither the sales nor production teams will have accurate, complete, valid and timeous information available to base their decisions on if they do not have a finance team, processes, systems and some level of automation;
  • The operational team cannot design a process if no product or service exists;
  • The technology team cannot automate processes that do not exist;
  • The treasury team cannot manage cash flows or foreign currency exposure if none of the above is present;
  • and so I can go on.

Whether you make the coffee or pay the salaries it is important that each member of the team understands how your work impacts the lives and efficiency of the rest of the team and that you understand how your colleagues are impacted by what you do or do not do…

This naturally also means that an improvement in one area, for example people, also has a positive effect on the processes, cash flows and the organization. When we work simultaneously on all four areas, we obtain a multiplier effect that enhances the growth rate within our organization.

Could you perform all these functions independently? Yes, you can certainly try…

Will it be worth it? I do not think so… as people we have a purpose; we are designed differently and have different skills and strengths that provide energy to us and that makes us tick. When we contribute our strengths and skills and depend on others for their’s, we become more efficient and grow quicker as people and organisations.

Get ready to stand out! Embrace your interdependence and allow other people to make you stronger and your business more sustainable.

Whether you have an established business or have a dream to create one, let our team at wauko become part of your team and assist you to make your dreams a reality.

If you need help to assess your options, we would love to help you. Contact Dale Petersen on 021 819 7802 or at to connect with us.


1. INDEPENDENCE | meaning, definition in Cambridge English Dictionary
2. Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes – American Profile
3. INTERDEPENDENCE | meaning, definition in Cambridge English Dictionary


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