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Belinda Gannaway

A Week’s a Long Time in Social Business

As I sit watching my son at winter nets, reflecting on my change of life, it seems unbelievable it’s only been a week since I walked through the NixonMcInnes doors as a member of the team for the first time.

With five working days under my belt, I thought it apt to share some things the world might not know about NM.

Monday madness
The week starts with a team stand-up (no chairs allowed). Because NM believes in bringing the whole person to work, the meeting kicks off with everyone sharing a little of their weekend before moving into priorities for the week. As a freelance marketing consultant for the last 10 years, this reintroduction to the human side of work was a welcome aperitif for the week ahead.

Tuesday check-ins
Rather than letting unexpressed issues and emotions hijack the outcome of meetings, NM pow wows kick off with a check-in. With everyone putting on the table preoccupations that may affect their contribution to the session, meetings start from a place of honesty and transparency.

Not-so wobbly Wednesdays
NixonMcInnes is a creative and vital experiment – a business that supports others wanting to become better corporate citizens as well as providing a healthier place for people to work. With that comes a requirement for everyone to actively engage and commit to valuing others’ contributions. NM is a fast-paced and rigorous intellectual environment, but things can get misinterpreted in the speed of the action. Taking gripes home to drown in the first glass of vino or sharing them in whispers in the toilets are not options – here it’s about getting the sxxt out in the open.

Thirsty Thursdays
People go drinking together after work. No big shakes for many I guess, but with 10 years flying solo and three on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Crawley before that, ‘a quick drink on the way home’ is luxury that has all but passed me by since my time in Westminster as a journalist in the 1990s (when it was a absolute must).

Friday failures
Over a glass of wine with two clever writer friends on Friday evening, the Church of Fail was the one aspect of my first week debrief (I haven’t experienced it firsthand only an account of what to expect) that had them whooping with incredulity.  As a freelance journalist and novelist they are even further removed from the workplace than I was.

The church of fail (every second Friday) is a celebration of f-ups. One person offers a confessional to the congregation – complete with candles (or did I add that to embellish the story?), pews and altar.  As any big roller’s biog will tell you on the back cover, successful entrepreneurs fail their way to success. The problem is, most businesses don’t like failure. But not at the Church of Fail. As one volunteer  (yes, I’m assured it is voluntary) shares their disasters and learnings, they are cheered and applauded. “It wasn’t like that when I was working on local papers,” Ben remarks. Perhaps the British press would be in a better state if it was.

So, that’s my first week done.  And it’s been great. As one friend remarked before I started: “May all your balls go in the happy bucket at the end of the day”, and after much remonstration from said seven-year-old for forgetting on day one (and two), I’m happy to report they have.

Image from Flickr published under Creative Commons with thanks to rabanito

This post was filed under Working culture Comments are currently closed.


  1. Congratulations on surviving your first week Belinda and best of luck in your new role with my lovely old colleagues. Looking forward to meeting you later this year when I’m back in the UK.

    Posted 1st February 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tom – Thank you. It’s been a real experience – a big one. But loving it. Looking forward to meeting you soon.

    Posted 1st February 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  3. Victoria Richardson

    Great way of sharing your first week, along with insight into the practices of such an interesting company. I really look forward to reading more posts from you. Very excited for you and a little jealous too – in the best possible way : )

    Posted 7th February 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink
  4. Thank you. It’s one hell of a ride.

    Posted 9th February 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink