One of my mates at work formally announced this week he was leaving after 19 years. I'm sad. But sad for me and sad for the organisation he will leave behind, not sad for him because he will make a success of whatever he does.
He's been massively supportive to me (and many others) over the years, great to work alongside and great to work for, although that only ever felt like we were working together on a joint mission which is the best way to work with anyone. A proper team approach.
Much of what I'm doing at work at the moment is because of his vision and support. He gives opportunities you see, thinks of how to include other people and takes risks to do things differently. And that's why I am sad that he's leaving the organisation.
He’s also supported me massively on my mental health journey, re assuring me, sharing, listening to my moans that my illness amplified and seeking to understand. That’s so valuable and I appreciate it and him so much.
I've written before about needing different people and different approaches to change things. wysethoughts.weebly.com/home/the-best-way-to-change-is-by-doing-things-just-the-same None of that is rocket science. But it still often feels like a struggle to embrace that type of diversity. We're good at embracing many other types, but what about the different thinkers, what about the introverts and the extroverts. What about the changemakers (or cheesemakers if you're a Python fan).
We once set up our stand at a department day with a real tree (which we donated to the venue afterwards) and used it to get people to hang their 'acorns' of ideas on. It was a risk, but we got the then chief exec over and chatting. We did things differently and differently can work.
We started exhibiting really professionally. We put on our own conference. We focussed on customers. We made it fun and interesting and pushed the boundaries. We looked for opportunities. We did lots of presentations using only pictures and no words…..
We started to create real change. We did things differently.
I think the organisation will look back in a few years and realise how far ahead of the curve his approach, thinking and efforts were.
So how can we work to retain people who are different thinkers, to keep them motivated, to value their input.
If we want to change we need them on our team. Are they on yours. Are you keeping the changemakers?
Good luck mate, you'll be massively missed.
Mr Paul Wyse