Thursday, September 18, 2014

A day with Jane Goodall and her remarkable team

I am led the closing workshop for Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots in their week-long residency at St. George's House, Windsor Castle. So I spent yesterday morning observing and listening to see what they might need in terms of skills at presenting their business proposition to corporates, partners, governments and volunteers.

When I've work with global charities, group dynamics can be fraught. Individuals mean well, but when given short periods of time together, their main concern is getting problems solved in their own countries rather than having a concern for the overall organisation -- or for each other.

Quite to the contrary, Roots and Shoots is a case study in how to do things right. Individuals from all over the world, with vastly different projects and challenges, talked for 4 hours about solving problems together. In fact, much of the time was spent finding ways to make sure they do things as a group - not to preserve the brand in a superficial way - but to make sure the work itself continues to run with the highest possible integrity.

Jane gets a lot of credit. At 80, she doesn't seem to have slowed down with her work - both as evangelist and on the ground. Jane is no figurehead - she continues to inspire and support her team in-country in a hands on way. She also vets those who grow her charity and Institute, and that has paid off.
Those in the field have accomplished what seems like superhuman feats in short periods of time. And with very little infrastructure, both as an global organisation and as national offices, they maintain connections with each other all over the world to improve they do their work as individuals and as a group.
One quick example: In South Africa, there is programme that helps children learn about how to treat animals by conquering their fear and making them more aware of animals' needs. The result has been not just healthier pets and livestock but more confidence in children. It's been repeatedly demonstrated by a new willingness by children in this programme to stand up for their beliefs in school.
Over lunch, everyone exchanged connections - to their own funders and other resources - that could help others start, develop, or expand similar projects around the world.
It's hard to convey in a short post the breadth and depth of impact that these individuals have had on their communities and countries - or how fast they've grown the organisation through love of people, animals, and the environment.

Definitely worth checking out, as is the Jane Goodall Institute, and I'm looking forward to help them tell their stories.

1 comment:

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