Our journey with Mind Your Own Business
Last year our Danish office got involved in a new CSR- project called Mind Your Own Business. Read the story about their project and how amazing it feels to help someone else.
Blog post written by Daniel Randskov and Oliver Graulund
We have for some time wanted to be part of a new CSR-project where we could get more involved on a personal level. There are a lot of great causes to be involved with, but for us it was important that we could make a difference using our knowledge and experience. After an initial meeting with Mind Your Own Business we knew that this was the right partner for us.
Mind Your Own Business is a Danish organization that helps young boys from vulnerable residential areas (age 13-19) to develop professionally and personally through a program where they learn how to create their own business and work as a team.
MYOB – The right CSR partner for Admincontrol DK
When getting involved with CSR there are certain factors you need to evaluate, like if that partner you consider working with shares your values and whether it`s contributing to something you belive in. We feel that MYOB is a perfect match for Admincontrol.
Before meeting the boys, MYOB set up a meeting with all the different collaboration partners, so that we could get to know one another and share our expectations about the road ahead.
It was truly inspiring to be in the same room with so many passionate people, all ready to help these boys in the best way possible. In this first meeting we were presented with a “game plan” for all scheduled activities over the next nine months, including who should be present where and when.
First meeting with the boys
It was a dark and cold October evening in Høje Gladsaxe in the suburbs of Copenhagen. We were about to meet the boys for the first time in a common room in the local church, which would be the work base in the following months. Two project managers from MYOB welcomed us and the other collaboration partners, who would follow the boys on a weekly basis. The excitement of meeting the boys was all over the walls.
Even though we establish new relations everyday and sometimes with the most influential and acknowledged business professionals in Denmark – we had – in the very seconds before meeting the boys mixed feelings of uncertainty, performance anxiety and excitement like never experienced before. Alter all, we wanted to show the best version of ourselves and act as the best role models as possible.
Opposites meets and relations are created
Finally, the door opens and one by one of the boys come out. They look so cool as they walk in with their hoodies and swagger across the floor and line up in front of the rest of us.
I bet they are as nervous as we are, but they look at each other with confidence. The first thought I have was that we are clearly overdressed for the situation – in an effort to make a great impression, we have put on blazers, matching shoes, and ties. Suddenly we feel a bit out of place and try to tone it down with casual body language.
It`s clearly a meeting between two different cultures, and it feels exhilarating and a bit scary at the same time. But everybody is equally excited to be here, and there are big smiles and hopeful eyes throughout the room.
One of the project managers breaks the silence and explain the agenda for the meeting:
“Today you are getting to know each other”.
During the following two hours we were all guided through exercises that helped everyone to loosen up and to learn more about each other. There was one exercise we particularly remembered:
It was a presentation round, and one of the boys began to stutter and even hyperventilate because he was uncomfortable of talking in front of a group of people. As quickly as his friends recognized his nervousness, they immediately stood up for him, put a supportive hand on his shoulder, and said;
“Come on, don’t worry. You can do it. Just say it.”.
The situation was very moving and it resulted in instant goose-bumps on every person in the room.
Fast-forward nine months to the final show-down of the MYOB-program The Business Award-show. This was the final event, where all the groups of boys across Denmark, who had joined the MYOB-program this year, would present their product and most importantly their learning journey to their collaboration partners and a panel of judges.
Looking back at these past months, the boys – with some help from us and the venture pilots – have fought their way through a development of spectacular dimensions.
They have identified a problem they are passionate about solving, been working as a team, delegated tasks between themselves, developed prototypes, and set up meetings with the right persons to launch their product. Now they are standing in font us on a stage, with hundreds of people, and talking about their ambitions, plans, and results. And through it all, they have backed each other up 100% of the way.
As the boys showed the last slide and ended their presentation with a humble “Thank you” while lowering their heads in a thankful gesture, there was not a single dry eye left in the room. Everyone immediately jumped up from their chair, and with goose bumps from neck to toe the crowd gave the boys a long roaring ovation, because they deserved it.
What a great feeling!
Reflections on MYOB and the road ahead
With KPIs, budgets, customer care, and growth that normally fill up the work-days, we wanted to make a difference for somebody other than the customers and business partners. We felt we needed to give something back to those who have not had the same conditions as us. MYOB was the right partner, who helped us full-fill that particular need with a framework that allowed us to make a difference using our core competences and knowledge.
When you work with MYOB you will get hands-on and meet the bare and tough reality. It may be difficult sometimes, but the hard work will pay off tenfold, because it is an amazing and indescribable feeling to see a positive change in another person`s life and know you have contributed to it.
That is also the reason why we started up with a new group of boys through MYOB during fall 2020, and we cannot wait to see what it will bring this time.
The boys’ mission is to encourage us all to be proud of ourselves and to follow our dreams. Therefore they have created a fashion brand called “Águila – Vuela libremente” that is Spanish for “Eagle – Fly freely”. Their first product line is a cap, which will help customers to express their true identity and what they believe in. Visit their website https://www.aguilacph.com/ to learn more.
In the later years, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have become more prominent in the business world. Admincontrol have been a proud contributor to Sabona since 2012 and we also have our own CSR Officer , Nina Felic. She serves as our steering compass when it comes to CSR.