JES Team Year In Review

Reflections and look-backs are an essential way to monitor our progress.  Being open with you about our own experiences in our business, we thought would help those of you struggling to take your business in a new direction.  

Though we’ve been working together for over four years,  this past year was very significant for us, as we partnered with each other and committed to two new additions to ways to help our clients achieve their goals.  We’ve done a great deal of transitioning, learning and living in the last year.  

JESTeam2

Helen and Lynne using various tools to reflect on the past year and plan for the next one

First off, you’ll ask – Did we hit our goals?  

  • Complete partnership agreement
  • Build an additional revenue source – videos, webinars
  • Transition large collaboration project well w clients
  • Demonstrate our values in all we do

 

The big decision was to partner with each other.  Those of you who have gone from a single person company to multiple partners will understand that this is a BIG DEAL as it not only means sharing the risk & reward, it means figuring out how to work together in different roles.  While you might think, hey, you have worked together for a number of years on projects, that should be the easy part….well, think again.  Shifting roles from a project management style and hierarchy to being equal partners took time and a lot of conversations about how we would make decisions together, our partner agreement to name a few.  It still take conscious effort, although it is much easier now.  

The obvious benefits we have in doing this are leveraging each other’s strengths, and supporting each other to live our lives beyond work, whether it be travelling, family time or having a baby!  

Figuring out our structure and pattern as partners – week to week, day to day, communication, what tools to use with each other as we often work remotely. It seems that technology was a huge part of our year, as figuring out what our webinar setup would be, learning about necessary hardware, software.   How we make decisions as partners on what to move forward on, and what to leave for another time has been a huge blessing for each of us.

We kicked off our new partnership with a major decision: to add video capability to our services which would build an additional revenue source.

This has presented exciting opportunities to our clients and demanded a huge amount of experimentation and learning from us. It meant we got way out of our comfort zone, and not knowing how to do everything was a huge challenge for each of us but we rose to it and are pleased with the results; a stronger team, and a new revenue source.  

First out of the gate was the interview series with the brilliant team behind FREDSense Technologies. Thanks for your feedback and fabulous insights. Here’s a huge shout out to everyone at FREDSense.  They challenged us to live our promises to each other and get producing videos.  You might have noticed that neither of us were ‘on camera’ for these interviews.  Well, that was a conscious choice, in part because we want to have center stage for FREDSense but also as we were skilled enough in set ups yet to appreciate how to do multiple cameras well with two people.   We are happy to highlight this fast growing, innovation company with you.

Transitions is a consistent theme, as we transitioned from being primary support for a large multi-year Initiative. While you might be surprised to see this on our goals for the year, it is a large piece of work and the type of work that many companies fail miserably at.  We are very proud to say making transformational transitions happen for our clients has been a great part of our year as we set up, prepared well, proactively and intentionally and know we are doing our best to preserve the fabulous work done to date and transition to others.  It feels great to receive kudos from our clients as this kind of transition and change can often be often faced with fear & upset.  A large collaboration initiative such as one demands discipline, compassion, thoughtful planning & attention to the behaviours and relationships that need to change in addition to the project work and followed throughout the timeframe. That’s a lot of stuff to transition.  We will share our tips on future blog posts and a webinar on the topic of transition.

Our biggest struggle is taken straight from Project Management 101 – Time estimation.  We underestimated the time it would take us to make our goals happen.  When we researched our next steps, best estimate showed to expect 1-1.5 years to make this type of transition.  We thought we were better, more agile than these suggested targets (dare I say we were a bit arrogant?)  and targeted a shorter cycle range of 9-12 months.  We realize it takes time to learn new skills and put them to use.  Being nine months in, we are only just now beginning to hit our stride.  

Through all this, we lived and worked our values, as we are:

  • Having fun,
  • Learning by doing, bringing additional revenue to our business & expanding our skills,
  • Leveraging our diverse strengths for the best possible outcomes,
  • Inclusive, supportive and in service of our clients and each other through it all.

We would appreciate hearing about your year in business – any transitions you are going through?

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