In this photo from left to right : Zahira Williams, Annerine Roos, Braam Keyser and Alison Lloyd
When Team Stars decided to work with Streetscapes for their Senior Management Development Programme's BDAL (Business Driven Action Learning) project, it was because they realised that homelessness has an impact on everyone. The Streetscapes project is an offshoot of Khulisa Social Solution's Cape Town Community Court Diversion Program. It aims to reintegrate homeless people back into society through sustainable rehabilitation and structured employment. They also offer the homeless other services such as addiction management and counselling, psycho-educational sessions, family outreach, and health and social interventions.
Team Stars saw the notable difference the Streetscapes project had already made in a relatively short amount of time when they connected with Jesse Laitinen, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Khulisa Social Solutions. To add value the team focused on problems they could influence with little cost and within the given time frame. Although they identified various areas that needed development, two primary issues had to be addressed first: leadership and operational management, and productivity of the garden. Addressing the leadership structure will help employees to understand how they contribute to the overall success of the organisation, while on-going operations and performance management aims to produce an increased focus on driving results for the gardens.
The group hosted a one-day workshop to guide Streetscapes management on how to develop organisational structure as well as a vision. This helped to clarify roles and streamline operations by initiating a performance management system. In order to establish efficient and sustainable gardening, a simple tracking tool was developed that will help to analyse, measure and forecast garden productivity.
The team made use of each individual's strengths and skills to bring about the best outcome. Team member Zahira Williams facilitated the organisational structure workshop as she has experience in human resources. Another member, Braam Keyser, applied his strengths to increase garden productivity. Alison Lloyd liaised with various stakeholders and researcher Annerine Roos focused on streamlining and finalising the BDAL document. The cost of implementation was minimal as the team offered their time at no charge.
Team lessons learned
- Drive solutions where NGO can see benefit of intervention. These can be small wins.
- Do not wait to start with the process. Be active about setting timelines and follow through.
- Regular engagement with the NGO enables the team to become deeply involved.
- Agree and be clear about the scope of the project.