African Mgmt Initiative – Action Packed
It has been another action packed week in Kenya.
It started with an emotional visit to an orphanage and the slums. The orphanage was run entirely by the church and volunteers with 137 children being fed from the slums and 47 with no parents and living there. I’ve said to all of my friends that these kids and those that support them and live around them share so much love when they have so little. I really wanted to take each and every child home.
Some of the children:
It felt strange after visiting the orphanage to move onto other activities. The orphanage was really enriching and for most in our Sabbatical the highlight. The next day we went to visit the Rift Valley for game “drives” by boat and 4WD in Lake Navaisha and Lake Nakuru National Park. I am so fortunate to have thousands of photos of animals from this trip. Here are some hungry Hippos that were so close it was scary:
Our AMI project has been progressing well as we locked in our Scope of Work and delved even further into Design Thinking Methodology to understand what we refer to as personas. As per my previous blog we have met many course participants who are Kenyan Managers and Entrepreneurs as well as potential agents. However, it has been really important to understand the additional stakeholders such as who would an agent employ to be a facilitator? Should they be someone studying? What level of university? Would our Kenyan Managers and Entrepreneurs respect this person and attend a classroom or prefer a retired teacher?
In this exercise it was really important for us not only to document the personas but to also use the critical Design Methodology of continual validation. For this we met with Judith and Mercy from AMI. Judith grew up in a small town and Mercy was raised on a reservation. You obviously can’t understand African culture in such a small stint here but as we took Judith and Mercy through the profiles of a course participant, Facilitator, Agent and Partner we really enjoyed hearing about what would shape someone who grew up in Mombasa compared to a small village just outside of Nairobi.
Celine interviewing Mercy:
Some of the “A teams” work on Personas on our white board at the SAP office:
We have started the financial model and template for an AMI Franchise business in a box. To do this review and benchmarking against successful Kenyan franchises has been crucial. One of the stand out meetings on this has been with Miranda Lewis from Sanergy. Some of our Sabbatical colleagues (Yaniv, Ayca and Dharshan) have been lucky enough to work on an actual Scope of Work for Sanergy. Sanergy’s business in a box is a 3 foot by 4 foot toilet that is purchased by entrepreneurs who live in the slums. There is a double sided effect of this business not just for the franchisee but for the people who live in proximity. Typically franchisees charge KSH 5 for an adult or KSH 3 for a child to use a clean toilet with clean water and tissue paper. Many quality controls are in place by Sanergy to ensure the brand of Fresh Life means that people in the slums will look for the blue toilet when they need to use the amenities to ensure that they can keep their families healthy.
We finished the working week in execution mode and gave our AMI CEO a status update. We are well on the way to delivery at the end of this month. I know everyone always says it but I can’t believe how fast the time goes.
I never in my life thought that I would spend Easter in the Masai Mara, Kenya bordering so closely to the Serengeti, Tanzania. As a final thought for the week two update I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Easter. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are. Home is where the heart is. There were so many animals around and all so protective of their babies. I loved everything I saw but could not surpass the strength and nature of the Lioness with her cubs. We witnessed a pack of three Lionesses with seven cubs. The Lionesses were so thin their ribs were poking through and the cubs were chubby and happy. It’s no different to what any mother would do for their children.
“Furaha Pusaka” Happy Easter in Swahili.