Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Apple on desk

Why that subject line? Because I’ve got a new boss! Although she isn’t the same as my old boss who was (and still is as far as I know) a he.  It was just a good opportunity to use a lyric from a Who song. Anyway, I’ve been on my best behaviour all week. Remember all those old Have I Got Social Enterprise News For Yous making fun of the management at SSE? Didn’t happen. The one where I may have been a little hungover? Wasn’t me. The one with the swearing? I was hacked.

On with this week’s news, as well as some obvious/terrible/ridiculous pointers from a list I found online about how to impress a new boss, should you find yourself in a similar situation…


1. Make sure that you arrive on time.  

Oh dear. This already sounds a bit ambitious. My advice is that you should at least make sure that you turn up to work on the right days. This is easy to achieve if you buy yourself a Cafe Art calendar, now available on Kickstarter. Cafe Art is a social enterprise set up by SSE London Fellow Paul Ryan. Now that you’ve caught the crowdfunding bug, take a look at and support SSE North East Fellow Alex Henry’s campaign capturing the history and heritage of the VW Campervan.

2. Ask questions. 

“Can I go home now please?” at 11am on your new boss’s first day will not go down well, trust me. Why not try, “Hey Boss, do you agree with this article which suggests that charities should collect less impact data?” If your new boss responds with enthusiasm either way then you could follow up by suggesting that you both take one of the last remaining places on our Measuring Social Impact course on September 17th+18th.

3. Be friendly without being friends.

Otherwise known as ‘The British Approach’. If you want to strike up a friendly (but not too friendly) conversation why not talk about trees? Everyone likes trees and it will also demonstrate that you have a keen interest in the environment. Conveniently, the Guardian have featured SSE Dartington student Kenton Rogers in ‘Introducing ‘treeconomics’: how street trees can save our cities‘ if you need a conversation starter.

4. Participate in company activities outside of work.

Err…ok. Seems a bit excessive. If we have to though, maybe we could all head to this hotel in Italy which is a social enterprise dedicated to inclusion. Easy on the team-building activities though.

5. Offer suggestions.

I actually did do this recently in a staff survey but apparently ‘having Sky Sports on a big screen when the cricket is on’ doesn’t warrant further discussion. So instead I’m going to suggest that you read Rosaline Jenkins’ article “Charging for services, trading and ethics (put a poka-yoke in your pipeline)‘. It’s very good.

6. Remember to greet your boss on special occasions.

Bit weird, but ok then. Happy Spumoni Day boss! Have a good one.

7. Go out of your way to be helpful.

This should be easy for Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You readers, who I know are a very helpful bunch. This week you can help out by voting for SSE Fellow Julia Bateson to win Talk Talk Digital Hero – Internet Safety and for Jo Webster to win the Training and Coaching category of the Enterprise Vision Award. Your vote will really help out, and it could be you one day! (Particularly if you live in the North East and enter the North East Charity Awards.)

8. Focus 

What was that? I was distracted by this BBC quiz on whether I would make a good entrepreneur.

9. Demonstrate continued personal development. 

This six week Growing Wellbeing course from SSE Fellow Ciaran Biggins and his organisation MindFood could fit the bill perfectly.

10. Prove that you can adapt to innovation. 

No worries. This week I adapted to the fact that we are running a brand new Online Marketing Masterclass on October 9th with no problems whatsoever. So well in fact that I’m going to give you a discount: £60 off if you use the promotional code ‘earlybird’ before September 14th.

What’s on at SSE?

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