Recently I attended the 2012 Swift Current Spirit Awards, hosted by the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce, an event which took the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of local business.
While listening to the acceptance speeches of many of the award winners I was struck by the common theme of thanking staff and the acknowledgment that success comes only as a result of a team effort and is not a result of any one person.
Many of my past experiences certainly have taught me this as well, for many of us however, we find it hard to transition from the art of doing to the art of getting out of the way and empowering your team. It’s a process I’m still working on.
Over the last 12 months we’ve had the good fortune of landing several important projects including a television series that looks at the increasing role the regional colleges are playing in the thriving Saskatchewan economy. The project is currently in production and as you can imagine has many logistical challenges, including of course, funding. Although we’ve successfully secured our funding from various sources, we are faced with a common business problem faced by many TV producers. The inability to cash flow projects ordered by the broadcaster because funding is always tied to the various stages of production which can often take several months.
So what to do? We’ll in our case I went to an unlikely source of interim financing, Community Futures Southwest and John Parker. A fact I was again reminded of when John presented the award for New Business during the evening festivities. Although I’ve known John and known about Community Futures for many years, I never really considered them a financial institution. It wasn’t until we began working on a project that profiled some of the success stories of local entrepreneurs and the role that Community Futures had played that I began to see a different side of the organization. I was struck by how personally affected each entrepreneur was and the gratitude each shared for John and Community Futures. They would use words like; “they get us,” “they believe in us,” “we feel they are part of our team.” Surprising words that I found myself repeating after a brief meeting that not only secured the funds but that had a cheque in my hand in less than two weeks. I can’t tell you what a huge sigh of relief it was to not only having our financing in place but to have a resource that was accommodating to our needs.
Lesson learned. Your team is not only limited to your immediate staff but also includes many third parties most of which have something tangible to offer to your business.
Thank you John Parker and Community Futures Southwest for believing in Overtime Communications and being a part of our growing team.