Skip to main content

In our December newsletter we created a reflective journal for our clients to support them in reviewing how the year of 23 had been, as well as looking forward to 2024.

It never amazes me how many businesses we come across who do so very little reflection. They still manage to run successful businesses. It’s quite an achievement. Just imagine how much more successful, effective or healthy their business could be with extra reflection and learning?

Reflection enables us to learn, to assess, to course direct, to let go of what doesn’t work anymore and bring in that which is new. It allows us to relocate ourselves in the wider eco system our business operates and ask if we’re still showing up at our best? Whether the outside world has changed and if we need to adapt to respond to it. It’s also a great way of assessing the resources we have in place. Have we got the right people in the right roles? Are we organised for success or chaos? Do we need to develop new skills to face the future that’s coming? Where might we need support and from who?

This year we have been playing with a fabulous reflective tool by Meus Consulting who specialise in systemic constellation work which are we HUGE advocates for. We’ve seen the power that constellation work can do to enhance the flow and vitality in a business (more on that in another blog)

What follows are my own reflections, as Jennifer, founder and CEO of Frankly on the year that’s just been. We often talk to our clients about how courage and vulnerability go hand in hand. It’s a brave thing to lift the lid on your business and acknowledge what is and isn’t working with absolute honesty. But it’s the only way we can improve that which could be working more effectively.

So I hope these reflections on my eco system of Frankly go some way to inspiring you to reflect on your own business, remembering of course that every business is unique.

We’ve included a link to the free reflective journal below.

Re-energising leaders in your business

1)Acknowledging what is (looking back over 2023)

Key fabulous moments continue to be the great clients we attract to work alongside. I’m always struck by how they don’t neatly tie up in one sector (so we can be more focussed in our own marketing). But the thing that does unite them, is a champion for people. Somewhere in their business exists an individual or group who care about people and are wise enough to see the direct correlation between doing the right thing by people and increasing profits.

It’s also been a great year for expanding the team. Our fabulous associate community who lead on the delivery and project management of our work. It’s grown, shrank and grown again this year as we find the right DNA of experts to work with us.

A big positive has been hiring in more external support. Utilising the expertise of people with specialist skills to help support with marketing, design, business coaching, and even PR.

Financially we’ve had our best year which has enabled investment in growth.

What’s felt more challenging has been building the elusive pipeline. Clients always show up one way or another, but I am yet to be able to write down the magic formula that makes that happen so I can repeat it more efficiently.

Also challenging on a personal level, the bigger questions around scaling the business. As a conscious and planet responsible business, I’ve spent alot of time reflecting on the ingredients that are needed to deliver greater impact (at scale) without negatively impacting both our own brand values (partnership approach) or our legacy on mother earth. I don’t want to build a business to sell it to retire (not yet anyway), I still feel I have so much to offer through our work at Frankly and so much more to contribute. So how big is big enough and what does the pipeline need to look like to create the vitality for such a model. More questions than answers in this space.

And of course there is always the challenge of balancing working IN the business versus ON it. I love my work and I love being on my feet in facilitation with clients asking tricky questions of their business. This type of work takes alot of preparation and design as well as consultancy time to enable the conditions for effective work to be in place for our clients. This means I need to be ruthless with my boundaries around working ON my own business as well as my delivery time.

2) Making meaning – gathering understanding 

If I were to sum up this year, I’d say we’ve enhanced and stabilised our external customer experience whilst at the same time experimented around growth.

A big lesson was the value of hiring in external support, whether that be supervision to protect the integrity of the work, business coaching, marketing help, PR ideas, accountants, calling in the wisdom from the associate community. It takes a village to run a business.

In terms of what resourced me personally (which in turn resourced the business), keeping a steady pace. Avoiding comparisonitis and FOMO. Not trying to scale too fast. Putting enough foundations in place that would sustain the work. Having a great team of associates to support the delivery of the work. Honouring what we teach, that you can’t give from an empty cup.

3) Co-creating the future – surfacing new possibilities

Ooh the list of fabulous moments I hope the future will bring for Frankly is long and exciting.

I am still passionate about scaling about the business and really want to come up with a way that less financially able leaders can access our resources, tools and support. Leaders lurk everywhere and boards are still not diverse enough to represent the population of those they serve. I hope we can do more work to rebalance boards in terms of gender and financial background.

I want Frankly to be leading the way for small consultancy firms when it comes to planet and sustainability and we have a long way to go on this one. We have so many useful resources we could be sharing that we are not.

I want Frankly to build a fierce and compassionate community of leaders. A space to come together to create, innovate, challenge, support, collaborate, change the world!

I would love to find that elusive model for building the pipeline in a more effortless way as well as creating space to support the associate and wider community that support Frankly. Learning and creating together.

4) Building capacity – what resources might be needed

We absolutely need to continue to grow the team not just in terms of fabulous associates but also the support experts; marketing, sales, finance, sustainability, process and client management.

We must hold as sacred our no-nonsense and common sense approach both internally and externally with clients. No bullshit! Ever!

For me personally I need to spend more time out meeting interesting people. Getting along to thought provoking events

Pipeline, pipeline, pipeline… if you have any thoughts on this, do send them over…

So there you have it, the highlights of our Frankly reflections for 2023 and some of our bigger intentions for 2024.

Laying the foundations for a cracking 2024!

Here’s the link to the free Download if you’re interested in reflecting on your own year.