In these challenging times most of us are required to deliver more for less. The same maxim applies whether you work in a local authority, a global corporation or for an SME – ‘to deliver more for less, requires that you first invest.’
Often cuts and scarcity serve as the catalyst for organisations to innovate in the search of the holy grail – to deliver more for less. As economies begin to emerge from the economic crisis, many managers and organisations were forced to find new ways to maintain and increase productivity and performance. Those that have survived, now find themselves leaner, fitter and stronger.
So, how did they do it?
They did not do it by simply slashing budgets and cutting jobs. They did it by taking stock, reviewing their strategy and then taking decisive action. They required their managers, team leaders and team members to find new and better ways of working; they encouraged innovation, creativity and change. For most, it also went hand-in-hand with investing in people, so that their workforce became more flexible, multi-skilled and capable.
One such organisation is Greenhouse Charity – London. I first met members of the Greenhouse management team shortly before the end of last year and I can certainly say that the senior management team has fully embraced the mantra ‘to deliver more for less, requires that you first invest.’ Greenhouse is investing in a variety of ways which has seen them grow and prosper.
Firstly, they are continuing to invest in the future of thousands of young people through the delivery of full-time sports coaching programmes across ten different sports. Their work has even caught the attention of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who commented, “Greenhouse does amazing work, providing real opportunities, support and guidance that can literally turn around the lives of young people. They are deeply committed to helping young Londoners. I urge Londoners to show them as much support as possible.”
Secondly, they are investing in the managers and the coaches that make the organisation so successful. Later this month Exponential Training will commence the delivery of the Greenhouse Growth Enabler Programme, a bespoke in-company management programme, designed to support the Greenhouse growth strategy. This represents a major investment in the skills and careers of the organisation’s managers and coaches.
Thirdly, Greenhouse undertook a complete review of its strategy, resulting in an ambitious five-year plan that will see further significant growth and investment in the Greenhouse team and young people – young people like Nathan Hall, who took part in one of the Greenhouse basketball programmes and for whom Greenhouse helped to change his life for the better.
Greenhouse is now recruiting for its next generation of coaches through its Coach Core Apprenticeship Programme. Coach Core was developed with the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to provide disadvantaged young people living in London to become the next generation of inspirational coaches.
I think investing in our organisations and in young people is more important now than at any point in the past decade. So, if you think it is too risky to invest, I can assure you that there are tens of thousands of businesses, social enterprises, charities and even public sector agencies that tried the alternative approach – where are they now?
If you are interested in finding out more about Greenhouse and the work it does or if you would like to make a donation in kind or in cash, click here.