Our PR agency BlackHouse Media was 8 on November 7, 2014.
The past few years have been remarkable and we have grown tremendously! But within me, I knew it was not yet time for a big celebration.
With some of our core staff members, we spent the weeks before and after our anniversary meeting (at our Lagos HQ, at Eko Hotel and at Protea) to appraise our journey and develop a clear strategy for accomplishing our goal: to build an organisation that’ll place people before profit and solve problems from Abuja to Beijing and Los Angeles.
We spent long days meeting, going through all the details of what we expect of the kind of company we hope to build. We took case studies and asked ourselves pertinent questions.
This past weekend, confident we have developed a blueprint, we spent two days meeting with staff, all 54 of us.
We shared plans for ‘going global’ – the policies and practices we must put in place to build the BHM of our dreams. Each department: finance, editorial, customer relations, digital, Talent and material management, and others took turns to present policy documents and explain codes of conduct and all the new ways we plan to do things.
We’ve grown over 500% in the past three years. We’ve stabilized two of our businesses, with plans to kick off the third and fourth in Q1 2015.
Everyone thinks we’ve done a fantastic job. Our clients sing our praise. The industry thinks the BHM bandits are superstars. But because we’re benchmarking our success against global standards, because we want to be one of the best in the world, not just in Nigeria or Africa, we are, apparently dissatisfied.
We agree we can and must do more – to better the quality of our work, to better the lives of our people, and to, using Steve Jobs’ words, ‘change the world’.
From discussing with clients who believe we can potentially influence the future of media and public relations in our country, to friends who see what we’ve done with the zero resources we started with, and staff who are just determined to do more, I’m inspired to believe we can actually accomplish our big dreams: to build a truly super organisation that will positively affect millions of lives across the world and solve consumer problems with passion. An organisation that gives the world one more reason to respect and appreciate Nigeria and Nigerians.
First things first: we’re getting the people who work here to understand and key into the vision. We’re creating an environment that employs 3Cs to encourage the kind of adoption and advocacy we expect.
The BHM 3C model places Compensation, Convenience and Capacity Building at the core of what we value for our people. It’s our strategy for making our company one of the best places to work in Africa.
And today, we officially opened the BHM Lounge, a luxury pent house bar and restaurant for the use of our staff and their friends.
We’ve also commissioned our nap rooms. Cool places where our people can rest and steal some sleep during or after work hours. It’s a first in our industry. And it’s only one of the many plans we’ve instituted for our comfort.
When we started the discussions about re establishing our vision and enthroning the kind of culture we desire, I told my team I’m worried we may all be getting tired and bored.
Now, as I write this, I confess: it’s about the most exciting time of my life yet – since we won our first multinational pitch nearly five years ago.
Believe me guys: #ItIsPossible!