This, our sixth year running as a social enterprise, is a year in which I wanted to pause. If you asked the team whether it feels like that, I’d be slightly fearful of the answer!
It doesn’t mean taking our feet off the gas or endless naval gazing. It means consolidating our thinking, reflecting on learning and just being a tiny bit more considerate of our next steps.
Just this week I was asked as Expert Witness to talk to an enthusiastic bunch of people setting up their social enterprises. They were me six years ago and in many ways I feel no less green today. Having to consolidate six years of thinking about social impact measurement into a thirty minute talk made me realise it’s more coherent than I thought. Of course the horizons are endlessly receding in our world, but the doesn’t mean we haven’t travelled far too.
So whether it’s impact measurement, understanding the finances, putting in place systems and processes or focusing on creating a great team, not only have we achieved a lot, but hitting the pause button to recognise that is vital – for my sanity if nothing else.
Honestly I’m really enjoying focusing on the Vision, Mission and Values as well as the infrastructure right now. It’s what I say to any start-up – get things in place so that you don’t have to retrofit them later on when you’re really busy.
I could have followed my own advice more, but thanks to a great team and reaching the point of a really clear Vision and Mission, we are better able today to focus than we would have been at the start.