Do you need a break?

Do you need a break?

There, it happened again: Another weekend that you worked through. Or maybe another week without any time for yourself. You feel like you’re getting into that robotic state where you just tick to-do lists but you’re losing touch with the joy you used to derive from your work. You’re in one meeting, but already thinking of the next one. You drink the coffee, but you can’t taste it actually. The team sits together, but you don’t connect the jokes. A friend or colleague asks you: Maybe you need a break?  “Not now”, you say. This has happened to many entrepreneurs or managers. Work becomes life. Then work takes over. You feel like you can’t take a break, you’re not replaceable and things won’t move without you.  Take a quick self-test: When was the last time you took time off for yourself, and truly disconnected from being ‘the success of the company’? Was it more than 3 months ago? In all honesty: Does your heart still jump up and down with the same excitement when you think of your job, as it did before? Are you coming up with all kinds of reasons to explain why you can’t take a break (no money, big project, unique opportunities coming up, team needs me)? Are you irritated and impatient with your team at times, because others seemingly aren’t in the same hard-working zone as you? What are the 2 main traps you keep falling into when it comes to overworking yourself? If any of these warning flags apply, then the truth is: You need a break, whether you like the thought or...

The work environment at edge

edge is growing! To help more businesses grow and impact more workplaces, we’re going to double our team in 2019! Have you ever thought about working in talent acquisition, a business advisory firm, or wondered what it takes to help organizations build high performing teams?  If your answer to these questions is yes, we are looking for you! So you’re interested, but moving to a new job is a big commitment, and we know you are cautiously thinking through which work environment fits you best and brings your talents out to shine. This article should answer most of your questions, but in case you’ve got any extra ones leftover, feel free to tweet us @edge_kenya  and we’ll be happy to respond! So, how is edge’s the work environment like? Actually, you have to come and experience it! But since you asked, here is a quick, three-word summary: Fast-paced – We support entrepreneurs in building great teams! Sounds easy? At edge you will need to stretch yourself and think outside the box to come up with and use creative approaches to address our client’s needs. Sometimes we have 2 hours to build something great for a client that others may require a week for. We work with mindsets like lean and prototyping to achieve our goals and deliver great value in no time. Constant learning – We are constantly seeking knowledge that enables us to improve our services and be our clients’ best partner. Key here is self-driven learning, being curious and inquisitive, using online resources, peers and the larger community to be at the top of new industries and...
Getting defensive a lot? Break the vicious cycle!

Getting defensive a lot? Break the vicious cycle!

Ever had an emotional response that was immediate, overwhelming and disproportionate to what the other person did or said? Did the situation feel like a significant emotional threat? As if there was a snake lurking next to your chair? “Now you’re overreacting. I think you’re getting defensive!” “YES!   I TOTALLY AM!!  BUT I CANNOT STOP IT! Oh, and I won’t admit it either!” And when you think about it later, you can’t even remember or factually describe what worried you exactly! It’s like you had a total loss of brain capacity.   What is happening in these moments? Your ego is trying to defend you! It wants the best for you and preserve you from harm. To avoid serious danger from hitting you, it uses a flight, a fight, or a freeze response. But guess what: In 99% of cases your ego is over-reacting, seeing snakes and dangers where there are none. Then all that adrenaline comes in between you and your talents, your best self, and your success! Here are a couple of real life examples: The client says: “Oh, maybe Manuela can tell us more about XYZ topic (not related to the context of the meeting), given that should really be YOUR expertise.” My mind going into overdrive: “Oh my God, I’m not prepared for this. No matter what I say now, they’ll think I’m stupid. But how can she do that? She always puts me on the spot. In fact, why are we working with her organization in the first place?” (Black and white thinking) Boss asks: “Why is this concept note late? Please make...
Intercultural Teams: The magic ingredients for success

Intercultural Teams: The magic ingredients for success

It is hard to imagine the social enterprise and venture capital ecosystem without cross-cultural teams. In our work with startups and organizations across East Africa we interact with multicultural teams on a daily basis: Local and foreign founders, team members from different East African countries, local and foreign investors and board members, international fellows and consultants, you get the picture! While the day to day in the office with each other can sometimes be puzzling or draining, this diversity is an incredible opportunity to build innovative, winning and competitive models. There are many reasons to invest into building a balanced culture and help teams leverage their diversity! First of all, working in a multi-cultural environment is a huge selling point for this generation! Organizations that succeed in building a fun, well-functioning diverse work environment are very attractive employers and are likely to attract and retain top talent! Also, you can increase your company’s ability to innovate and create products that last and faster and better problem solving by representing views and insights from a wide range of stakeholders into decisions. Leveraging different life and professional background improves business results in the short, mid and long-term. There is ample research showing the business opportunity diverse teams have, but also the challenges associated with diversity, such as inconsistent norms and assumptions, which might reduce collaboration. We asked around: How do different styles, beliefs and concepts shape workplace interaction? We discussed this question in our session at the Sankalp Africa Summit 2019. We started the workshop by asking participants to share experiences where intercultural aspects caused tension and reduced productivity. Communication styles...

What we love about our clients and why you should join us!

A young professional thinking of joining our team recently asked an interesting question: “What kind of clients do you work with, and which industries do you focus on?” The most exciting part about a job in business advisory is the diversity and exposure! Arguably, providing business growth services is the best job. The exposure you gain to a range of industries, business models and entrepreneurial journeys is just mind blowing. To illustrate the point: Last month, the edge team handled projects with clients in the financial services industry, rural development and business acceleration space. We also supported a sales company penetrating rural areas, a philanthropic funder of African homemade innovations, a community hospital in a slum, a foreign trade organization, AND a science-focussed secondary school. Yeah, exactly! Imagine the conversations over lunch! Being involved in several projects per quarter means intense learnings for each individual. It also means that you get to (and have to!) research and become an expert REALLY fast about new industries and realities! We learn so much from the kind of questions our clients wrestle with! As we network with potential clients, we have conversations to really understand their vision, model and approach. By the time we take on board a new client, we know they are inspiring leaders in their fields, entrepreneurs and risk-takers and have big dreams. Many of our clients create employment, make sure East Africans get the services and products they need, and over the years touch thousands of lives and livelyhoods. Instead of working transactionally, we build a deep, trusted and long-term relationship with our clients. Knowing that talent management...