A month ago I wrote a blog using the England cricket team as an example of sticking to their principals in the face of pressure and said Grace Network faced a similar situation within our Furniture business.
We all know that England went on to win the world cup in that amazing final (although it was stressful and on a knife edge) and I am glad to say that Furniture Bank seem to have won their final too. July was our best ever month in terms of net revenue and profitability, never before have we had a month as good financially as July 19. It was the culmination of 10 months work investing our new loan into a bigger business with more staff and more activity.
In the previous blog I wrote that team working together in a unit was the key to holding onto a self management model in the face of pressure and it proved to be the case. Our leader, Tim, invested his efforts into ensuring the team stuck to their roles (leaving them to decide on their choice of techniques) and spent his spare time focusing on a couple of areas of growth that he was personally gifted in developing.
It worked a treat. Tim was able to grow our gift aid receipts by over 100% in the month after 3 months of low returns. The team we able to add 20% revenue back on to the business by executing their roles well. For example, our eBay business (run by one team member) returned a 6 month high revenue figure. All we did we ensure she had the time and space carved out within the team to get on with it. She was then able to deliver the results without any direct management or support. Tim had the space to drive revenue growth himself whilst his other team mates self managed within their more rigid team structure.
In reflection, I feel it reminds me that if something seems right but is new and untested the trick is not second guessing or reverting to old ideas in the face of the new faltering briefly. Holding the line is what is needed to see the new come into reality. If we want to do new things we have to have the boldness to stick to the new ideas and not return to the old ways just because the text books say the old ways are the right ways.