Recommendation from Natalija Knaidele
Community Manager at Gamification.co
I came to Roland for advice when looking for an investor for Publicētava, my NGO e-publishing company. We had been working on it part-time with a small team and saw that we had hit a market niche. Yet we also realized that we had to offer a wide choice of content to our customers to truly develop the Latvian e-book market, which was and still is very small, and we could not do that on our own.
A potential investor put us in touch with other people who wanted to work with and invest in e-books, and suggested teaming up with them to create a larger project. From what we saw, our mission and goals meshed well with those of the investor, but not with potential team members, who saw e-books as a popular trend, not a revolutionary way to distribute content, as we believe them to be.
What Roland focused on most was the team, both the existing NGO team members and volunteers, and the potential partners. By then we were meeting with them regularly to understand their motivation and interest in the project, and we had an internal feeling that it would be too risky to work with them on one team. At most, we could be business partners, so that their impact on Publicētava would be limited. Through Roland’s coaching, the first and most important achievement was verbalizing this concern and trusting myself more both in voicing concerns and defending them, especially because of the conviction and belief that Publicētava’s team had in the project. Although we needed an investor (whom we liked), we could offer our own dream team composition.
I’ve always preferred teamwork to individual decision-making. Ever since the discussion with Roland, the role of teamwork has only grown in significance both in my own perception and in the project. It is very inspiring to converse with a professional who has a similar people-loving view on life – a view held by too few in Latvia. I agree with Roland that consensus is possible and communication is key, and I’m looking forward to meeting him at upcoming TEDxRiga events and professionally.