“The five separate fingers are five independent units. Close them and the fist multiplies strength. This is organisation.” So said the American businessman James Cash Penney. It got me thinking about 3FF’s fingers and fist.
Our current newsletter highlights the work of our volunteers and is a reminder not only of the importance of volunteering – to quote Muhammad Ali, “service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” – but also of how critical it is for delivering our mission.
There is also an engaging piece from outgoing Deputy Director Rachel Silveira after almost 10 years with 3FF. Staff turnover is part of the rhythm of organisations of course. Retaining knowledge and a sense of continuity is the other side of the coin. What can we do to get this balance right?
A recent Gallup report on the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 1996) reveals that this generation is more likely to move freely from company to company than any other generation. This is no doubt down to several factors, though high on the list is the lack of behavioural and emotional connectivity to the organisations they work for.
One thing Rachel Silveira is rightly proud of as she leaves 3FF is “the atmosphere we created and the people who have made 3FF work… I wanted to try to make 3FF model the world we wanted to create.” This is her lasting legacy and something we will all do our best to uphold.
Nurturing this atmosphere in the organisation is a daily challenge and includes, amongst other things, staff eating lunch together, encouraging each other to express our passions, creating the spaces we need to get to know each other, and celebrating the incredible work of our volunteers who, along with staff, donors, partners and collaborators are on the fingers that make our fist.
Whilst events in the environment outside our organisation remind us of the importance of our work (my last blog was written in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London), we must also make efforts to nurture the atmosphere within and celebrate the connectivity between the organization and the amazing people who make it what it is. It’s in this way that we “model the world we want to create.”
So, thank you Rachel for reminding us of this. And thank you volunteers for giving your time to help build a world in which people of different faiths, beliefs and cultures have strong, productive and lasting relations.