[Picture: at a Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business lunch]
Simply Communicate started life on 1 September 2012. In the past six years, I have drunk large amounts of coffee and savoured the delicacies of most of the great coffee shops and restaurants in and around Pietermaritzburg and KwaZulu-Natal.
There is much talk these days about office sharing, and different expressions of such practices abound. For my business, set hours and a set space would not be practical. Instead, I have enjoyed the hospitality of kindly restaurateurs who have allowed me to relax, write, think and meet with clients in the happy (and tasty) environments they have created. There are too many to mention, and I will get into trouble if I tell you my favourites (but I’ll whisper in your ear, if you’re looking for guidance).
Thank you to friends who have encouraged me to believe in what I can offer the business community. Thank you to so many clients who have trusted me to help them resolve difficult employee issues and allowed me to train their staff and managers in the various skills and habits needed to maintain and develop a successful business.
What a privilege it has been to reach out and to share the journey of start-ups and established organisations, NGOs and schools, small businesses and large. I have given talks and run workshops with groups as small as two and as large as 70, in sheds and in corporate boardrooms from Cape Town to Ballito, from Durban to Vryheid.
Whether the focus is on customer service or employee engagement, business strategy or the wide range of management skills and leadership practices needed today, the approach is the same: focus on the learner. You cannot teach people, you can only help them learn. We cannot make apples grow, we can only nurture the soil.
Tell people what they ought to do and where they ought to go, and they might be interested and might want to go. But, paint an irresistible picture of what their world could look like, and they will want to get there, whatever it takes.
The same is true of our employees, and anyone else we are privileged to lead. Don’t give them rules and focus on everything that goes wrong. Give them a future to believe in, and they will ask you how they can get there.
Thank you for sharing my journey, how can I help you with yours?