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Interview with Saray Khumalo

Really enjoyed this wide-ranging chat with our all conquering South Africa hero, Saray Khumalo. It's a fun wander down memory lane, as I handover the leadership of forgood to a new team - and just before transitioning into The Room . We cover leadership, social entrepreneurship, the youth, startups, mentorship and a whole bunch more. 
Recent posts

The Next Chapter: From forgood to The Room...

When you've helped grow an organisation from Helpless Baby to Cocky Adult, there's never a good time to leave. But if that organisation is stable, growing and has a world class team behind it - then there's no better "bad" time than this.  Forgood is now South Africa's biggest employee volunteering SaaS business. We're still fairly small in reality, because employee volunteering is a small market (for now). But we dominate the space, both in the quality of our offering and the impact we create.  This entrepreneurial journey has been a labour of love and scars - as many of them are. But it has to come to an end at some stage - because until senior leaders/founders step aside in a small business, there's no room for the next generation of talent to take over.  After almost 7 years as the CEO of forgood, it's time to hand over the baton. Really excited to announce that Romy Heldsinger (our current COO) will take over the reigns, with Mashadi Letwaba

2020 Playlist. A mix for that year that was...

2020 . The pandemic . It was always going to be a year where different music became the norm - because we all had different environment, needs, stressors and experiences. It appears I needed a lot of downtempo and deep house to get me through. Add that to the experience of playing Death Stranding (probably the best game sound track ever created) during the worst of lockdowns - and you get this eclectic mix.  Every year, I put together a "DJ" mix of songs - wanted to share them here. There is only one rule: the music has to be released or discovered by me in that year. That leaves it open to new music and a couple of old favourites that slip under everyone's radar.  In addition, the playlist is designed in "DJ order". It's meant to be an experience. So start at the beginning - and play through in order. If you're playing on the Apple Music Mac App, set the crossfade to 12 seconds.  Here's the 2020 journey.  Moody Electronica Deep House Folk Country I

2019 Playlist. A mix for that year that was...

Music is something of a hobby. From playing it, to cataloguing it (oh how the days of MP3's fed the OCD soul) to collecting it.  Apple Music and Spotify have made this a bit harder, with the sheer overwhelming amount of choice. But with great power, comes great playlists. I hope.  Every year, I put together a "DJ" mix of songs - wanted to share them here. There is only one rule: the music has to be released or discovered by me in that year. That leaves it open to new music and a couple of old favourites that slip under everyone's radar.  In addition, the playlist is designed in "DJ order". It's meant to be an experience. So start at the beginning - and play through in order. If you're playing on the Apple Music Mac App, set the crossfade to 12 seconds.  The 2019 mix goes on quite a journey.  Deep House Folk Indie Rock Country Movies Electronica Vocal Trance A bit of festival EDM 70s Rock Indie ... and ending off with a few oddball bits of awesome. Ho

Running an SME during #CoronaVirus...

Thought I'd share the philosophy and set of short term decisions we came up with at forgood. Feel free to copy/paste/steal whatever you feel is relevant. Tough times - but that's when humans are usually at their best. These were all crowdsourced and developed by the forgood team. Thanks to the team - we're only a few days in - but everyone is displaying emotional maturity, patience and humour. All that and more are critical to getting through this. Hope this content helps in some way. Stay safe out there 👊 Our Philosophy 1. Don’t panic. Get a flu shot. 2. We’re a small team - if someone gets sick - we’ve got your back. 3. Help our ecosystem wherever we can, given our fortunate position and ability to ride this out.  4. Keep moving forward! OKRs stay in place wherever possible - we just find new ways to get there and new ways to add value to clients. 5. Timescale. Plan in 2-4 week bursts. But understand this could last till October 2020 and beyo

Andy’s 10 Rules for Tech Businesses

I've been collecting these for years. The scars and triumphs of experience. Thought I'd share... #1 // Always get 5% better Revolutionary leaps happen from constant evolutionary pressure. Getting 100% better overnight is often impossible, but getting 5% better every day, week, month and year will lead to radical progress. #2 // Users can be idiots – but we love them anyway Users will always do what you don’t expect them to. They’ll click where you don’t want them to click. They’ll struggle with everything you think is simple – and breeze through everything you think is complicated. They'll have the system configuration or set of IT policies that you'v never encountered before. Remember, you’re building systems for THEM. They will always follow the path of least resistance. And without them, you don't have a product. #3 // Get shit done What gets done, deployed or delivered to a customer is infinitely more important than the process you took to get ther

The "Tour of Duty" approach to management and hiring...

This concept popped up on the Masters of Scale podcast and hasn’t gone away. It's been gnawing at me, mostly because it fits with a lot of my hiring experiences. With hindsight, this metaphor has gone a long way to explain why some staff stay, why some leave and what time commitment to expect from them. The best form of learning is writing - so here we go. A crash course in Tours of Duty. Let's start with the academic overview of the concept from Harvard Business Review . What is a "Tour of Duty"? It's a mapped out journey for both employee and employer. By setting expectations up front, you can manage the intergenerational conflict that occur between people who tend to stay in jobs for longer vs people who do a series of jobs for experience. It is an ethical contract, not a legal one - an undertaking by both parties of "what you want to get out of this". When you hire someone, the idea is to define their Tour of Duty with them - what is the