I admit.

I went to Kenya fairly certain I would be able to find stuff that I would do differently or knew just the right way to improve on, or that I had “the answer” to.

Prejudice. I admit.
I was. I am.

On item after item, I was proven wrong in my assumptions.
I thought I’d know better… and yet, here I was, over and over again, being proven wrong as well as impressed by what I saw.

Like the Suggestions-box on the office wall. I took the photo at the Nyongoro plantation, but I saw the same type of box at the Kiambere plantation as well as at the head office in Nairobi.

You see, two of the founders of Better Globe have spent a good deal of time helping companies in Kenya and Uganda achieve ISO 9000-standard. ISO 9000 is the family of quality management standards of the International Organization for Standardization and as such is a globally recognized standard. Working many years in the pharmaceutical industry, I’ve come across the standard many a times, and have even given two-day trainings in Quality Management Systems with a focus on ISO 9001.

Better Globe Forestry (BGF) operates according to all the best practices (and a few next ones at that!) of the quality standard – and the suggestion boxes were but one of the most visible clues around – without actually being certified, because knowing the standard as well as they do, the management of BGF also knows there’s no real point to them being certified. And that actually impresses me even more! This is what quality should be about – doing the best you can, while operating under a continuous improvement cycle, regardless of whether you happen to be certified or not. There are companies out there who have chosen to become certified, for the certification, rather than because they want to run and operate the best company they can. But not BGF, they go the other way. They use the standard, for the quality aspects of it, because they do want to run and operate the best company they can.

What I saw throughout the trip impressed me. Greatly.

And not just me, even though my fellow travel companions – CEOs, CFOs, marketing directors, investors, high-level coaches, management consultants, and I don’t know all. Many years of experience that’s for sure! – aren’t the ones writing this blog. I am. But I promise, we were a l l, unanimously, very impressed with what we saw.

So yeah. Rightly so, I was stripped of my prejudices, and I am frigging glad I was!

Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216