Welcome to my blog! This week I’m talking about board meetings, boot camps and being interviewed by Radio 4.
Started the week catching up with Ben Atkinson-Willes from Active Minds, which remains one of the businesses in this sector that I have the most respect for. I’ve also realised how much Ben and I have in common; we’re both relatively young entrepreneurs, both personally affected by dementia in our families and we’re both perfectionists…no wonder we get on so well.
Monday’s other highlight was meeting the people behind the Social Stock Exchange, an innovative platform dedicated to business and investors who want to achieve social and environmental impact through their activities. I’ve been interested in the SSE for quite a while so it was great find out more and how it might benefit our social investors.
Worked from home which usually makes me much more effective, however today my internet connection broke down which was incredibly frustrating.
Later, I met David and one of our investors for lunch which was great. I continue to be very much indebted to our investors for their support.
I then spent the afternoon preparing for an interview at home with Radio 4’s The Food Programme. Presenter and food journalist Sheila Dillon and assistant producer Clare Salisbury came to meet me and were both keen to find out about the day-to-day food issues facing people with dementia, and the products that might help. It was a great interview and afterwards they admitted to being fascinated by the products I’d talked about, and pleasantly surprised to discover there are actually lots of things you can do to help people with dementia continue to enjoy food. The interview is scheduled for early October.
Our first board meeting since the summer break. There was lots to discuss, including our latest marketing, branding and fundraising efforts. I was feeling very nervous and didn’t sleep well the night before, fully expecting it to be a difficult meeting. So it came as a great relief to find our investors continuing to be supportive and believe we’re making significant progress.
I then had lunch with Thomas who runs Net Lawman UK to finalise some of the details of our Lasting Power of Attorney service. I also had a good chat with Jon Wingrave from the Alzheimer’s Society and agreed to sell the Society’s very popular Christmas cards this year, which is great.
After our senior management team meeting (now happening weekly off site) I persuaded two brave colleagues to come along with me to Barry’s Bootcamp for an intensive lunchtime work out.
Spent the rest of the afternoon grateful to be sitting down whilst interviewing potential Customer Services Managers. I’m pleased to say we’ve finally found someone for the role. Hannah Jones starts next week.
Highlight of the week
It’s finally happened. Since we first started working together two years ago David and I have been talking about producing a catalogue to showcase our dementia products. Imagine how thrilled we were when our very first catalogue went to the printers and would be ready, we were informed, in plenty of time for this week’s board meeting. However, when David stood up to start his presentation, at 9.30am on Wednesday morning, the long awaited catalogue had still not arrived…
Feeling extremely disappointed (to put it mildly) David continued with his presentation and then, just before he came to the bit about the catalogue, there was a knock at the door and a courier appeared, handing David a package! Board members were most impressed, assuming we’d staged the delivery to add a bit of extra drama to David’s presentation. Fortunately, the as-yet-unseen-by- anyone-including-our-Chief-Executive, catalogue turned out to be pretty good and was very well received by all.
Of course, when I sat down to look at it more closely I could see lots of areas we can and will improve in future additions. But the overall tone is right and it gets our message across so for a first attempt I think it’s brilliant. Now we just have to wait and see if it works. Will customers want to buy the life-changing products we believe might really help them? Only time will tell…