FIP 100: What I’ve learnt building my social enterprise after 100 episodes, interview by Andrew Foote of Sanivation

This is an interview to mark the 100th episode. Andrew Foote is the host. He’s the co-founder of Sanivation – a social enterprise in Kenya that takes human waste from cities and converts it into fuel. Andrew is interviewing Andy Narracott, founder of Finding Impact.

On this episode you’ll learn:

  • It’s important to stop and celebrate in any social enterprise, to mark milestones and recognise how far you’ve traveled on your journey. It’s good for your mental health, and it’s good for building a positive culture in your team.
  • Finding Impact is process driven. Andy created a process to uncover insights for social entrepreneurs through interviews. Then improved that process via feedback (from listeners and himself), and once all the kinks were ironed out, he trained other people to follow the process. Andy claims this to be the most basic form of creating an enterprise.
  • Andy recognises the incredible help he’s received from volunteers, and the power of creating win-win partnerships. Andy offers new skills training and an opportunity to learn and build experience, and in return he gets help with the creating content procedures.
  • People naturally want to share their knowledge. The goal of the podcast is the make that as easy as possible – to remove friction to knowledge sharing.
  • Andy shares a couple of books that taught him the importance of a repeatable process for continuous improvement. The first is Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed, then Work the System by Sam Carpenter, and The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. All are instructive on procedures, experimentation and feedback.
  • On how to determine what procedures are important, it depends on what the goal is, and this will probably change over time. For Andy, the goal of the first episode was to record a half-decent interview, develop the basic process of getting it onto the web and hoping a few people listen and share feedback. Nowadays, his goal is to create content that is relevant and has some urgency in need, and he’s moving onto measuring impact in the traditional sense, with a a theory of change and an M&E plan.
  • On what he’s learnt about himself, Andy says he needs structure and process in his life, as the alternative seems to be chaos and continuous reinventing the wheel. This dovetails into his interest in efficiency.
  • Journalling can help us monitor ourselves so we get better at understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and help us be the best version of ourselves.
  • Andy plans his week on a Sunday night using Google Calendar. He sees what phone calls and meetings have been scheduled, what pieces of work he has to do, and then puts chunks of work into this calendar, so when he starts his day, he doesn’t waste time by thinking about what he has to do. He also puts in family time and exercise time.
    Streaks is a google chrome add on that sits within Gmail, which Andy uses to track projects, processes and initiatives.
  • Andy’s vision for Finding Impact is to continue providing content for social entrepreneurs in emerging markets, as he believes they’re pushing the boundaries of creating systemic change in these markets. Meanwhile, he wants to scale knowledge sharing to build local podcasts for local markets.

Links to resources:

Connect with Andrew Foote

Connect with Andy Narracott