Personal Development Tips told through Short and Sticky Stories

E19 - Team Building with Oliver Bailey - Expert Interview

E19 - Team Building and Teamwork: Interview With Oliver Bailey from Harvest for Heroes

The son of publicans from South London, Oliver Bailey attended Dulwich College school, leaving in 1994. Beginning his career in Recruitment, he founded his first businesses in 1998. He has since owned and acquired further businesses in varying fields, including Information Technology, Construction, and Energy. In recent years, Oliver has focussed on Healthcare, where is an owner and Director of Remedy Healthcare Solutions, a leading provider of insourced and outsourced diagnostic services to the NHS. He recently founded Harvest For Heroes, a fundraising initiative to supply free, fresh produce to our NHS front line workers. Today, we discuss teamwork in more detail.

You Can Read the Transcript of Our Interview Below:

Nathan Simmonds: Welcome to Sticky Interviews. I'm Nathan Simmonds, Senior Leadership Coach and Trainer for MBM, Making Business Matter, the home of Sticky Learning. We are the provider of leadership development and soft skills training to the grocery and manufacturing industry. The idea of these interviews is to share great ideas, great concepts, and great ways these skills are being used to help you be the best version of you in the work that you do. Welcome to the show. Nathan Simmonds: Today I am speaking with an interesting, exceptional, and very focused individual. I've seen some of his posts on LinkedIn, I've seen the interviews on the BBC News, and I had to reach out and have a conversation with this gentleman about his work, what he's doing right now in the midst of COVID-19, if we're in the middle of it, the beginning of it, the end of it, I have no idea. Nathan Simmonds: With the stresses that the services, our national services are experiencing, Oliver stepped up in this, pivoted with his business idea, and he's supporting them with fresh fruit and vegetables, and providing this to NHS workers because they're under so much stress they're not able to think and make healthy decisions about what they're doing in their grocery shopping. He's stepping in with a charity organization that makes this happen for them at their doorstep, delivering them fresh fruit and vegetables at the hospitals, at source, at location to help them so they can focus their thinking onto the most important task, which is making sure people live. I don't think I can be any more explicit about that, to be honest, Oliver. Oliver Bailey: No, that's pretty good. Nathan Simmonds: I said this before, and I was going to say it again, from me, and from everyone already you're helping no doubt you're getting loads of thanks for this, I want to say thank you from us, from everyone else that you've touched. You're doing incredible work. Please, explain why you do what you do, what you're doing in probably a clearer way than I could ever imagine to. Oliver Bailey: Well, I appreciate your support on this, Nathan, and anyone's interest in it. That's great and it really helps keep us all going. This all started off at Harvest for Heroes, well, I found myself, like lots of people at the moment, with a fair bit of down time that'd been imposed on me, or I should say working from home, and with working from home, a real slow down in my business. As you know, with all the weight of the world, there's only so much you can do at this time because everyone else is busy. I work with the NHS in my professional life, so they've all been dragged away on things far more important than talking to me. Oliver Bailey: So I found myself with a bit of time on my hands, and I wanted to do something for my local hospital, which is here in London, Kings College Hospital. I've got a lot of love for them. Two of my children were born there. My son, Henry, was born a couple of years ago there with a rare form of spina bifida, and a really stressful time for us all looking back. When he was a year old, he was taken in to be operated on, when he was a bit stronger, and their rock star neurosurgeon, [Azul Zabian 00:03:05] and his team fixed him. A seven hour operation. Henry's downstairs running around now. So just amazing, just amazing. Oliver Bailey: I'm always, I would say of all of the professions that I watch, I think surgeons are right up there in terms of me talking to someone who struggles to wire a plug or hang a picture, the amazement for these people, and when it's your own kid it's even more so. They fixed him. I've got a lot of love for the hospital. Oliver Bailey: I literally phoned them up one afternoon and just said, "Look, what can I do for you? I'm sitting here, the family, we're all driving each other mad. Can I come down and do something? Do some driving, volunteering? Can I bring you some cakes? Coffees? Anything? I don't suppose you want [inaudible 00:03:54] the hospital." They came back to me, and the feedback I got was that they're being inundated with very lovely but not very healthy stuff. So they were overdosing on grapes and donuts and stuff like this, which is all well and good. But they said what they were short of was general fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, and general groceries. That was, if I was going to make a contribution of some kind, then that would be very much welcomed. Oliver Bailey: Well, in my ignorance I said, "Well, how does that work? Where are you going to cook all this stuff? You're not cooking there." They rightly pointed out that it was after the long, laborious shifts with frontline doctors, nurses, and anyone else, if I have some stuff to take home with them. We all saw the crying nurse on TV the other day that couldn't get any groceries, they finish all sorts off hours, so that was the thinking. Oliver Bailey: But I got [inaudible 00:04:52] from Rachel, my partner, who said to me, "We've just got one of these lovely fruit and veg boxes from New Covent Garden Market," where all of the traders are sitting around because the restaurants, parks, and hotels are shut, so they're now trying to keep their businesses alive by directing into people's homes. And we had this lovely box of produce. Well, I could send them one of those, then. Oliver Bailey: So that's what kicked it off, really. I then remembered that I had a friend who I worked with sometime ago, Darren Boroughs, who him and his father had worked in New Covent Garden Market, the biggest fruit and veg market in the U.K. for a couple of generations there. So, I phoned him up and I said, "Look, have you got any ideas around this? I see a demand there, I want to do a good thing, but I just don't know how any of this works." Additionally, I reached out to a couple of suppliers, some who were more enthusiastic than others, some I had to chase, and some who came back to me. Oliver Bailey: Anyway, Darren knew lots of people in the market. I basically said, "Well go away and see what the most fresh fruit and veg provisions that you can get in a box for the lowest amount of monies," and he went off and did that. That afternoon, I had thought of a name, Harvest for Heroes, which that's one of the things I pat myself on the back for, I think it's got quite a ring to it. I sort of got a Zoom thing going, I wrote a few mates in, so I got Darren on the Zoom, and I got chap who's doing the website for our business at the moment on there, and I got a friend of mine who'd worked for Facebook, and another chap who's a management consultant. And they also have got loads of time on their hands like me. I just thought, "I'll get a few brains together and give them my idea, and see what they think." Oliver Bailey: Well, I was used to talking to hospitals all day, Darren's used to fruit and veg, something [inaudible 00:06:38] than me with social media. And the chap with the website and branding, he was really keen because he said, "I'd love to get involved with a project like this! This is what I want!" We were all loving to get involved in a project that doesn't make us any money but has got this feel good factor. That's what was great about this. You know, I've run the marathon for charity, and raised a few quick for bowel cancer, and done a few things, but I had never done anything like this, I'm not a serial fundraiser. Oliver Bailey: But I think looking at everyone's pictures on Zoom, I've never seen everyone so excited about something that wasn't a massive commercial venture for us all. But everyone said the same thing, "Oh, we want to get involved in something like this." And we did. We had a chat, we formed it, we got a domain, Ollie went off and started doing the branding and the website and whatnot, I started a Just Giving page, and we started speaking to family and friends. Oliver Bailey: That's a little over two weeks ago, and we have now raised somewhere in the region of 27,000 pounds. We've been out to see 16 hospitals delivering these fruit and veg boxes. It seems to be being received really well. We have been on BBC News, we've been a couple of radio things, had a couple of articles on us, and it's quite a simple idea, but it seems to be being received really well, and we're having a blast doing it. I've got a new baby to carry now, so I started to realize that, but it's a nice challenge. So that's us, yeah. Nathan Simmonds: The bit that gets me is the team building bit and how quickly everyone's moved on it. One of the things I do a lot of coaching on is talking to people that are doing jobs that actually doesn't fulfill them. They're doing it for the paycheck, and they get to a certain point in their life where they don't feel like they're creating an impact with their lives, or they want to get promoted or whatever it is. And like you said, you just got a group of professional people that have got different expertise in different places and put them in a room, come up with this idea, and everyone's going, "This feels really good. I want to do this," and it's got nothing to do with money. Nathan Simmonds: One of the things, when I'm teaching people about motivation, is it's actually not about the money. It's never about the money. No, there is always something that people will ... there's a job out there that everybody would pay someone else that they could do it. I ask that question, "What's that job that you would pay someone else for you to do?" They will come up with different ideas. Nathan Simmonds: And right now, for you as a team, as that team's growing, it's about the fulfillment, it's about how good that feels, it's about the contribution you make for someone else, it's the look on their face when you give them that fresh fruit and veg, the healthy alternatives. Oliver Bailey: I completely agree. And I'm sorry to interrupt you there, Nathan. Nathan Simmonds: No. Oliver Bailey: I wouldn't describe myself as an airy-fairy, going on about my feelings all the time type of person. I'm really not. And there are two things around this. I suppose [inaudible 00:09:51] school teacher is the other [inaudible 00:09:52] 25, 30 years. But the main thing around this was just the doing it. So we had all of these guys and all these ideas, but what I think has made this happen is us just saying, "Let's just do it. Feels right. Let's do it." And not, because we could've analyzed this to death, by which time the coronavirus thing would be over and no one gets any fruit and veg had they wanted it. We could've discussed every little nuance of this. Oliver Bailey: I'm a bit of a, "Unless it's right, it bugs me, and let's not send that email yet until we've spoken to everyone we need to speak to and got everyone's input." I was encouraged to not be like that, and that was one of the good things. We just did it, and we just started doing it. So that's the thing that's, I suppose, got it up and running, and I can't take credit for that really. Oliver Bailey: As far as the feel good thing goes, you know, I've been a salesman all my life. I should've worked harder at school, perhaps. Maybe I'd be a professional barista or whatever. But I haven't, so I've had to make a living by selling, and convincing people that what I'm offering or telling them to do is the right thing. And it's exhausting. I've been, well about job satisfaction, I've had sales job that I like. The one I've currently got, which is a healthcare company, but it all comes back to sales and winning business and clients. Oliver Bailey: But I would say I've been burned out over a period of my life, at least half a dozen times, selling various things with different businesses I've had, some that have worked, some that haven't. It's all been quite chaotic. Made lots of mistakes. Oliver Bailey: But doing this, and I don't want to sound cliché, it really has given me a spring in my step. It gets my, another cliché, juices flowing. I'm going to mention 20 clichés now because I can't think of any other way to articulate myself. But it really does, it really makes me feel good that we're doing a good thing. It excites me as much as any amount of pound notes ever had. And it really has changed my way of, perhaps, I think it's changed everyone's way that they look at work and life. I think it's prone to [inaudible 00:12:14] question there, whatever happens. But it's made me put more emphasis in my emphasis on other areas of what I really care about. Oliver Bailey: And whether that's going to be a good thing or a bad thing, whether it means I'm going to fall off the gas in some way, or I'm not going to be the killer salesman that maybe I thought I was once, maybe, or my suspicions are that just in two weeks, the conversations I've had doing this, and the communication and the love, if you want to use that word, it's far more valuable than 5,000 cold calls, both the way I look at it and by results and ways decisions are made. Sorry, but that, yeah. Nathan Simmonds: As you're saying that, you and I have led certain kinds of life, and all our experiences have led us to this moment. Everything that's happened before has led up to a moment, and every thought leads up to a decision being made. And right now in the middle of this, you've gone, "Hold on a minute, what can I do in this situation? How can I pivot? How can I help? What's important here?" You made a decision on that. Nathan Simmonds: Now, all your sales skills over here, and all the things you've done, it's, like you said that burnout experience, the overwhelm, the anxieties and stresses that go with that, are kind of triggers and indications of potentially where you're actually designed to be. They're nudges for you to move into something else. Whether you choose to pay attention to them or not, or whether you go sideways into the same job but under a different name, which often we do, you're going to constantly get that reminder. Nathan Simmonds: Like you say, without being airy-fairy, that love, those faces you see when you walk into that hospital and deliver those goods, that's absolutely priceless. But through the struggles that you go through as an entrepreneur, salesman, a business person, all those sorts of things, is then looking back over your life and going, "Ah, now I understand why I learned that, now I understand why I learned that." You make almost every job becomes like an apprenticeship, where you're learning these skills. Nathan Simmonds: One of the key things you talked about there, which so many people lose sight of, I don't know how this works, except then you assembled, you built a team around you, and you get the team-building in place so that you have the right people around you to say, "How does that work? Oh, Darren. Oh yeah, this guy's name. Okay, great. Okay, but I don't understand social media. Who around me knows social media? I'll go and ask that person." Where 95% of the world, especially in the Western Hemisphere, will go, "Yeah, okay, I don't know that. I won't ask because I don't want to look stupid. I don't want to be made to feel stupid." So they don't step up. Nathan Simmonds: We have that awful phrase of sticking your head above the parapet. Well, the analogy says that if you're sticking your head above a parapet, you're inside a castle and you're under attack. Well actually, it's not about thinking like that, it's about saying, "Do you know what? I need some help. I've got this idea. I think it's a bloody good idea, but sound this out quickly." Now we see that these people are sitting around picking their ears in the best possible way, waiting for something to happen, and boom, you're in, and you do some good. I think that's phenomenal. Oliver Bailey: Yeah, I agree. I was going to say, another element of that, and I have been guilty of this, and I still am very guilty, is letting go of the baby. So I've had, and I know I'm rubbish at loads of things, I know I'm lousy at them, but there's always something in me that thinks, "Oh, I need to sit here and work out how to fill out this Google spreadsheet thing." And it's just not my strength, but I sit here and work out because somewhere in some type of way in mind you say, "No one else is going to do it," or, "No one else is going to do it as well as you," even though you know you're lousy at it. Oliver Bailey: There is an element of that, and I'm learning this as well, people are not idiots and I'm not that clever. Let's try and ... And there is an element of that as well. I can spend four hours doing something that might take someone else 40 minutes. What is the point of that? I still do it, and I still learn the hard way. Oliver Bailey: And it all comes back to your thing about team building. You do have to play to your strengths and give other people the credit that they're going to be able to pick the ball up. I'm learning that. And sometimes, there's no reason for me to do it, not because I think I'm better than anyone or I'm selfish or I want to guard things, I think it's just a habit sometimes, isn't it? I find myself muddling through things and thinking, "Oh, what am I doing?" Then you pick the phone up and make one call and the world is light again and everyone's having a lovely time. But yeah, there is that. Nathan Simmonds: And do you know what? In this conversation, I do have to say, I love your brutal honesty about yourself about this, and your brutal honesty about the frustrations that you experience as a leader, as a businessperson in this environment, but also that honesty of picking up the phone and getting someone else involved. It's just a great ... It's then relearning the lessons every time, "Okay, it feels horrible," and then you pick the phone up faster, and then next time it feels horrible, you pick ... and you just keep shortening that distance, shorten that route to market. Because that is, it's like, "Well how do I get to this situation faster? I've got this problem. Who do I know? Okay, phone them, get them involved." Oliver Bailey: I've still got to learn my lessons with hangovers that I've had over the years. I'm wore out, I've got the hangover, and I'm still struggling with that a little bit. But maybe some things you learn, don't learn others. I'm happy I'm not struggling in the business anymore. But you're absolutely right in what you say, yeah, absolutely. Nathan Simmonds: Leading on from that, what is the objective as it stands at the moment for Harvest for Heroes? Oliver Bailey: Well, we're at a sort of interesting time. The objective to start with was doing something nice for anyone at Kings College Hospital, and we've fulfilled that, and we've been going back, we've been back a few times and that's great. As I mentioned before, we didn't have time to put an accurate business model or game plan or whatever you want to call it together, so we just wanted to get some money in from my mom and dad, and Darren's friends, and whatnot, and then we wanted to buy some of these boxes and go out and deliver them, which we've been doing. Oliver Bailey: Now we've sort of got just over two weeks in, and we're now at a point where I think we're too big to be the kids going down the road with a sponsorship form, or say too big, we've possibly raised too much money and too much work's gone into it to be looking at it like that. But we haven't raised a million pounds, and we're not a charity, by the way, we're a crowdfunding initiative at the moment. But we're also now starting to have conversations around, "Okay, what do we do with this?" Oliver Bailey: The things I think that are great about it is I love the branding, I love the name and I love the branding that Ollie's put together. I think it looks really good. Now, whether that's relevant, again, I'm not an expert at charities or fundraising, but I think it's a nice vehicle for me or anyone else who could do something with it. I just wanted it to be doing a good thing, and I wouldn't like what we've done to be wasted if it could be used to do a good thing. That might not even be with me, but it might be a joint venture. Oliver Bailey: So we're starting to explore that now, and look at what we've got, and what we do. Sometimes you have more time to do various things, but sometimes all efforts have to be on getting to the hospitals, getting their interest, and going and seeing them, talking with Covent Garden Market, and van drivers, and so on. Then we seem to have had a bit of an up and down. We raised loads of money, and then we went out and got some boxes out and so on, and then I spoke and it was so well-received. But then the inquiries dried up a bit, or I spoke to maybe a couple of hospitals that were really grateful but they sort of said, "Oh, we didn't have anywhere to store this." And I went a bit flat. Oliver Bailey: Then I started to think, "Oh, we've got loads of money in the bank, but do people really want what we're doing?" And we're having to sell this stuff into places, we're going to lose money. That's what business is like, it's a bit like this. In sales, you have a really good week and you think you're Richard Branson, well maybe there are better examples at the moment, but you think you're actually on fire and your business is worth millions of pounds, and then you have a lousy week and you think, "I wouldn't be able to give this away." It's an emotional game, isn't it? Oliver Bailey: So like I said, it was a bit like that with this. And there's something, we had a load of interest, maybe the BBC thing or something else, but suddenly we were being flooded with, "Can you help us?" That was brilliant, and it was hospitals, but also care homes, who are I think the forgotten heroes, the care workers in all of this. They're in harms way was well, they're earning very, very little money, and it's a heroic job that they're doing. So although we've made this about the frontline, we're also having conversations now about who do we open up to. We've been seeing a couple of care homes today, just because it's just a compelling story. And I'll put an update on the fundraising page today, I don't think anyone's going to get in contact and say, "I thought the money was going to nurses, not people who were working care homes," but I'll do that. Oliver Bailey: To answer your question, because I'm rambling again, we're looking at lots of elements of it. I want it to keep doing something good if the demand is there, and it seems to be that this is a good thing. It's quite a simple idea. There are others doing similar things, but they're charging for this stuff, and we're doing it by donations. There are other ways you could go, you know care homes, other key workers in the medical space, community health people, they're all working incredibly hard. We could form a joint venture with someone who are doing a similar but slightly different thing. I've had conversations around that. Oliver Bailey: I spoke to someone at Public Health England, who is on the Board of Charity, and they do a similar thing, but they hand out ... Olivia Rose, I think they call it. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. They do fruit and veg vouchers. You should look at that afterwards. They identify vulnerable people in the community, and they give them vouchers to use on fruit and veg at farmers markets. Oliver Bailey: This came out literally from a conversation because I thought of talking to someone in Public Health England to say, "Is there any way you guys can throw a few [inaudible 00:22:40] at this?" Then it came out that he was a trustee of this charity that was very similar to us. So that turned into another conversation. Oliver Bailey: So we are just working away, trying to put some process around what we're doing now, and sort of in that period where we're not quite sure where it's going to go, and trying to make the right decision. And we're all ears on that. Nathan Simmonds: I think it's one of those things, from what you're saying, until you start scratching the surface and looking into it and speaking to it, all of a sudden you speak to one person that knows someone that does this, and all of a sudden you get that other bit of clarity, which you can then bolt on. As you said, if you had done that at the start, "Oh I've got this idea but I'm going to go and speak to this person, then I'm going to speak to this person, and then maybe I have to speak to Jim over there who's going to send me over to Harry over here," eventually COVID-19 is done and it's actually 2021 and you haven't helped anyone. Oliver Bailey: Absolutely. Nathan Simmonds: Whereas in this situation, it's start it now, get perfect later. You get the ball rolling. And I've done it even inside leadership teams. If you get a bit of momentum, people are less likely to say no to you once you've got a bit of momentum because they think someone else has already told you yes. And the fact that you turn up on a hospital's doorstep and say, "I've got this box of stuff over here," and they're like, "Oh yeah," and there's like a subconscious shift of, "Oh, so-and-so must have sent them. Yeah, we'll take that. Thanks very much." It then starts to build up the momentum, and then you can start making tweaks and adjustments. I think it's huge. Nathan Simmonds: I think it's, you also talked about it's almost like selling things for free. I actually found that harder. So when I qualified as a leadership coach, trying to sell people coaching sessions for free, people almost or don't see the value in it. They don't ever perceive value because there isn't a price to give on it. It makes it harder to sell them stuff because there isn't a ticket to it, and they can't go, "Oh, that's worth 2,000 pounds. Yes, I'll have that for free. Thanks." It's very difficult for them. Nathan Simmonds: So like you and I, I went the route, and I did my coaching, and I was in palliative care in hospices with the hospice leadership team. I have then subsequently gone into the teaching schools, Royal Marsden School and taught leadership skills there as well, because it's absolutely the right thing to do. We have access to those things, we've got an idea. And controversial, got a little bit political here, regardless of what taxes we pay, the NHS requires a certain amount of funding, taxes go so far, all those sorts. Nathan Simmonds: These people do phenomenal work, and they need support in one way, shape, or form, especially now, but at the same time always. I personally have been under the knife five times now, maybe six times, for various different abdominal surgeries, and if it wasn't for those people, I potentially wouldn't be here right now. If it wasn't potentially for the work they're doing, they wouldn't have looked after ... and like you said, the care workers, looking after my grandmother, looking after my cousins, elderly relatives. There's a certain level of thanklessness that goes with that. Nathan Simmonds: Making that contribution of a box of fresh fruit and vegetables, and as I said earlier, when you haven't got the cognitive functions because you're tired, because you're stressed, and all those sorts of things, the moment you go into a supermarket, if it is fully stocked, you're less likely to choose the fresh fruit and vegetables and make the healthy choices. You'll make an unhealthy choice because it's easier. It's higher in salt, it's higher in sugar, it's a quick fix. But then your health suffers internally as a result of you giving your heart and soul to all these other people. Massive. Oliver Bailey: And that was a driver, I suppose. That was one that the person who had put me on to this being maybe a good suggestion, that they want to keep their doctors and nurses healthy. It's this really important part of this. There are a number of, or a few aspects of what potentially makes this a reasonable idea, and that's the business element of the suppliers in New Covent Garden Market ticking over and having someone to go and drive out to and supply stuff to, again keeping them healthy, the convenience element of people being able to get what they want without showing up maybe in the supermarkets, or going out at ungodly hours and not knowing whether there'll be somewhere open. Oliver Bailey: Also, yeah, all the benefits you've just said, the health benefits. And if given an option, we're not all Julia [inaudible 00:27:19] are we? Given an option, some of us will take the unhealthy option, particularly when you're running around and you're stressed. We know what that's like, when you're grabbing stuff and you're craving certain things. A lot of us will take the unhealthy option, you know? So the fact that, particularly the fruit element of this, and the basics, it's gone down really well. It's probably making people have to eat slightly healthier stuff. So I think those elements of it all work. Oliver Bailey: We had a point where we started to get a bit too bespoke with people, so we they would say to us, "Oh, we love the fruit and veg boxes, but we really liked those one of the two types of apples that you had, and they were more popular than the onions." I started to, being me, drive myself mad, and start tailoring all these boxes. Then I thought, "Ugh! I hope we aren't doing this!" Then I had a few callers ask me, I was like, "No, we're working it all out. It's fine. It's all going. So just keep doing what you're doing." [inaudible 00:28:22]. But yeah, I think the health of our ... especially when they're faced with this disease every day, I'm sure a large part of it, I'm not a clinician, is you need a strong immune system to be in these areas of huge viral loads, in harm's way every day. I think everyone is supportive of them being in the best [inaudible 00:28:50] they can. Nathan Simmonds: Absolutely. A couple of random thoughts come in my head, and I'm going to share them in this conversation. One is, when you're looking at the unhealthy food choices, you've got stress kicking in, your immune system starts to shut down because your stress levels are up, that's a neuroscientific fact, we know that. You make poor food choices, you start shoving loads of sugar in, loads of unhealthy additives, et cetera, et cetera. When that stress starts to drop down or settle, the sugar starts to build up as a background problem to your immune system. Nathan Simmonds: One of those two things is going to snap. Either the stress level comes off and the immune system kicks back in and it can't deal with it, or you're already corroding the system from the back there with the unhealthy food choices and as a result of doing that you're fighting a losing battle at that point. You're not keeping these people, these key workers to the highest of their capacities physically, mentally, and emotionally to do what they need to do right now. Nathan Simmonds: The other random thought that popped into my head is Riverford. We have a Riverford box. So let's be honest, there's a few of us that use the veg boxes and get meat supply from them. They do phenomenal little recipes that go out with the boxes once a week or whatever. Like you said, it's almost ridiculous that you kind of have to force or strong-arm someone to make a healthy food choice. You almost want to make it as easy as possible, and maybe have someone provide a recipe that maybe covers two or three of the ingredients in your box so when they get it, it's just like, "Oh, there's even a recipe that tells me what to do because actually I don't want to think about this right now. Oliver Bailey: Yeah, absolutely. Nathan Simmonds: And there's other avenues that can spur off of that as a tangent. Phenomenal. I think it's hugely important, it's hugely needed. Regardless of what's going on politically, economically, these people are doing great work now, before, after. We know that, you and I, for various different reasons. And they're super important. Oliver Bailey: That's another thing, actually, Nathan, is that another conversation we've been having around this, which you just touched on, is there life, and how, and what does that look like for this enterprise after coronavirus, whether that's in a week, or six months, or a year. Where do we take it after this? So we all had differing opinions this. One of my friends said, "Well, I can't see how people, with all the charitable organizations around, I'm not sure if when we come through this people are going to be particularly inspired at buying fruit and veg for doctors and nurses. Not that it's not a nice thing to do." Oliver Bailey: Then I've heard other, differing opinions, which I'm sure yours would be one of them, which is this is absolutely needed, and they're still doing this job, and they're still doing what they're doing, and it does need a push. That's another question. Although it was coronavirus that kicked this off, how dependent, if you will, this sounds like a business thing, how dependent is its lifespan on coronavirus? Or what do we then pivot into again if there isn't a good thing to be done? And when it can be used, what do we do with that? Nathan Simmonds: I think it's one of those things that you look at the business model as it is, and this is a different conversation, but there is always a crisis. For businesses, 12 weeks ago, they had a crisis in the U.K., wherever. Six months ago, every business had a crisis going on. Six months from now there'll be another crisis going on. And it might not be that you're looking for Harvest for Heroes, it may not be that actually in six months on it's nurses, maybe it's firefighters in a certain district or certain area dealing with a situation. You look at Australia with the bush fires that happened this year. They had unprecedented bush fires, these guys need support. Nathan Simmonds: It might be that Harvest for Heroes isn't just about nurses, it's actually funneling those support to the people that are under the most stress that are giving us the highest level of protection at that point in time because we as a, not even a nation, as a community need to band together to support these people because they're trained to do things that we not even in our wildest dreams would want to do. Oliver Bailey: Yeah, absolutely. Nathan Simmonds: Categorically. It makes me want to cry because I've got friends that are in fire services in Australia in these sorts of areas. They put themselves under immense amount of stress. And you know what? I mean, all of what they do, because they do stuff that I would romantically think that I would like to do, but you know what? Not a chance. Not a f-ing chance. Oliver Bailey: Couldn't agree more. Nathan Simmonds: Amazing. So look, I want to get into some team building stuff, and talking about team building ideas, because this is kind of soft skill. I don't think there's a soft skill about it. You've focused what your unique superpower, which we've talked about, into this, and you brought these people together in phenomenal ways. I want to talk about teamwork examples and team building. What do you think are the qualities of good teamwork? Oliver Bailey: Well, teamwork I think is essential. We spoke a bit about holding the baby, or letting go of the baby, whatever you want to call it. Most of my success, where I've had success in business has been around relationships, when I look back on it friendships, love, fun, for me, rather than other people might get all their success on process and analytics and some of that. I'm rubbish at all that stuff. I'm rubbish. So what I've managed to lean on is forming friendships, relationships, maybe being personable, and being personable as a strength, but not being analytical or being the best manager in the world or consistent, all these things. Oliver Bailey: So I mean, I think that teamwork is, I think it's about leadership, whether that is leadership because you just never miss a trick and you're so amazingly accurate all the time, or whether that's leadership because you inspire people, or you're good at geeing people up, or you've got the Ernest Shackleton or Churchillian ability to excite people or make them think, make them excited about a shared goal. Oliver Bailey: I think teamwork is a number of things for me. It's understanding that you need a team in the first place, and you need to let go, and you can't do it all yourself. That's a big part of it. Then I think it's about everyone. I think it's about relationships, I think it's about a shared goal, and I think it's about the first thing I said, I think it's about people liking each other, and what you have to put in to make that happen. I'm sorry if I'm not even answering your original question and I'm rambling, but that's what I think. Nathan Simmonds: I was going to, Oliver, is it okay for me to share with everyone your unique superpower? Oliver Bailey: Yeah, of course. Nathan Simmonds: Absolutely. When Oliver and I got talking together, we talked about mental health, and how I've had my challenges, and I've worked with people. And Oliver says, "Oliver," I said, "tell me what's going on?" So Oliver goes crazy for about seven and a half minutes, and I'm just like, "Bloody hell." I'm just absorbing all of this information. Oliver goes, "I think I might just have had a bit of a ramble. I was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago." I was like, "It's a unique superpower." Nathan Simmonds: This is the element, is at the same time, you may be going off, and you may think you haven't answered the question, but proof's in the pudding. Sometimes you don't have to be able to describe things perfectly or define them to the letter, but it's the action that causes traction, it's the intent and speaking to people, and people feeling that intention. They're not getting all airy-fairy and hippie. They feel the positivity and the [inaudible 00:37:04], and they want to get involved, and then they can start to look at things. Nathan Simmonds: The bit that you talked about there, it's kind of a compartment onto, it's a bullet point there, talking about having a shared goal, creating network, being and having friends, having fun in what you're doing. I think those are the vital things. That shared interest, and everyone having a singular point of focus and knowing where that point of focus is going to go, that absolutely helps out. Oliver Bailey: And they'll all be happy when you get to whatever that goal is. That's important as well, everyone's interests being aligned. Being incentivized and happy, but I'll get into that point at the end, I think that's important. Nathan Simmonds: I'm thinking about, right now, one question that I want to ask you is what is a good definition of teamwork? I'd like to hear an example if you've got one to hand, potentially, of right now in the last three weeks of you doing what you're doing, what your definition, what is a good definition of teamwork in your experience right now? Oliver Bailey: Well, okay, so in the context of what we're doing, so we're a fundraising organization, and everyone is driven by, first and foremost, everyone is driven by doing a good thing. But then there's other things over and above that which are possible driving people, and that's fine as far as I'm concerned. So I said to you, Ollie said, "I'd love to get involved in a project like this," because he's used to building websites in a commercial way and getting paid, and actually for his own self-development and maybe for the perception of his business, it's a good thing and it helps all around. So he's driven by that, and they're the things that are driving him. What a great case study to have press, and we got on the BBC, and we help the NHS, there's no money involved. That's good. It makes him fel good and he looks good. Oliver Bailey: Other people might be enjoying the social media aspects of it. I'm enjoying going out and having ... I'm enjoying chief executives of hospitals giving me a pat on the back, people whose PA I couldn't even get on the phone three months ago. So there's an example, there you go. Oliver Bailey: And I'm driven by success, I'm driven by things ... I'm quite competitive, so that is what drives me. I've never been driven by money. So while I've been out on the sales floor, whatever I've been selling or doing, I've never ever been driven by money. That comes as a byproduct of just wanting to be better than the bloke over at the end of the desk that you don't necessarily see eye to eye with, and winding each other up all day. Oliver Bailey: But I'm quite competitive, and if I do something, I really throw myself into it. I've been guilty in the past of losing interest, maybe, and that's why I got a garage full of fishing rods, and smoker-ques, and water skis and everything else, because I start things and then get excited, and then, "Oh, I don't like this anymore." I'm really hoping that won't happen with this. I really don't see the signs of that this time. Oliver Bailey: But I'm driven by big success. So if that's a fundraising thing, that's the little thing that's keeping me going. If you're going to do it, get a fundraising competition, then let's make it a success. Let's get loads of money, and then let's buy for loads of hospitals, get as many happy pictures as we can along the way. [inaudible 00:40:31] what a great thing. Oliver Bailey: To bring that back to teamwork, the definition of teamwork, I think it's everyone in our thing being motivated enough to be on the journey in the first place, and we're all good people, we all think it's a nice thing to do. But some people, if they've got a load of work from their outside life and business life and they have an eye on feeding their kids, there needs to be something that makes them interested or invested in this other than it just being a nice thing to do. Everyone's got their own little thing. So I'm being ultra-competitive, as I said, Ollie might think it's a wonderful thing to have got behind, and other chair members might have a different opinion. Oliver Bailey: But I think teamwork is about a shared goal, and everyone having their reasons for getting there, being incentivized, and being just as happy when you get there, and being motivated enough on that journey to stay on the journey to get to the bloody goal in the first place. Nathan Simmonds: I think, for me, as you're saying that I'm starting to realize it, and I know this from working sales, numbers are numbers. You know, if you chase numbers, you're chasing a losing game because numbers are infinite. You're never going to get it. It's the emotion that you actually get from getting there. It's not about achieving the goal, it's about the emotion you feel when you get there, whether it's the success of competitiveness. But it's the same energy that you get from getting to the CEO to sell them a box of veg, which you're getting for charity, as it is winning a competition on the sales floor. It's just that one of those has a slightly more nutritious backing to it. One's a sugar hit, and one's a decent set of healthy vitamins and minerals and needed supplements. It's then working out which one you want to channel your energy into so you can continue that momentum on. Oliver Bailey: I totally agree. And just one last point on that, Nathan. About your point about numbers. Whether that's sales numbers or pound notes, or whatever that is, it doesn't, and I'm really learning that, it's the biggest thing that's come from this. That I'm really realizing that it just feels better to be doing something like this. I'm starting to look at it, and you look at some people who have built successful businesses, and they've done it in a beard and a scruffy old pair of shorts, and they've done it with love, and they've done it with relationships, and they've done it by it being a good thing and being driven in some way. I'm not that person, and I haven't always been that person. At best, I'm taking steps in that direction, Oliver Bailey: Then you've got this sharp, hard-nose, greed is good, money never sleeps, and all that nonsense, or not nonsense because [inaudible 00:43:28]. And I've always looked at those sort of things, and we'd all rather be the chilled out, calm guy that doesn't bite his nails, that's made his millions that way. And I don't think anyone makes it any one way, you're the expert on this stuff. Not even the nicest people in the world have been ruthless, I'm sure, in business, as nice as they appear to people. Oliver Bailey: I really am starting to realize that in terms of your own mental wellbeing, your own self-worth, your own desire for feel-good vibes that maybe just haven't been around for a lot of your life, I'm starting to see that there is a way that you can actually throw the financial forecasts out the window, and you can just start doing a good thing. Just like being competitive, success, money, and all this other stuff can follow that. It cal also follow something like this just because you just feel great, and you're making those relationships, and you're forming those things. And you might not even know what it is you're going to do. Oliver Bailey: But I'm definitely taking a step, I've taken a big step in that direction. It feels good to be doing something good, and I'm not even thinking about money. But in some way, these things all feed you, and I don't know, feed your ideas, and change your perceptions, and surely you can get success that way as well. Rambling again. Nathan Simmonds: No, no, no, no. It's a very healing thing. And like you say, the problem in that is the majority of people believe that money is a certain way, that money never sleeps and you have to be ruthless, and there's always competition, and you have to cut the competition out, and you can't win if everyone else is winning, and all that sort of stuff. But actually, you're learning from being in this sector. There are ways to create money almost from, not nothing is the wrong bit there, there is money there to be drawn on. When the intentions come in the right way, that money comes in and it feels good when that money comes in. Rather than almost having to fight for it, and then once it's in, you've got to go then into the next fight, and so on and so forth. Nathan Simmonds: When you go into this mindset of money and approach, the hustle and the grind almost drops off. And yes it's still hard work, and at the same time the hard work actually feels good, it doesn't feel like work. Oliver Bailey: I completely agree. Nathan Simmonds: Because you're looking in a totally different way, whereas if you're constantly fight, struggle, fight, struggle, fight, struggle, that's when you get the overwhelm and burnout. Over here, yeah, you are fighting a bit, but you're enjoying the process, you can smile. Rather than going to the grind, you smile going through the process. And then you can come up with more ideas. Like you said, your idea has naturally come in, "How do I give this project more legs? How does it extend out over here?" Then you talk to people and another idea comes, and it's like, "Oh yeah." The idea will morph and change, though eventually it becomes the entity that it's going to become in the future. Oliver Bailey: Completely agree. Also, you command just as much respect doing a good thing that's making you zero money, more say, then you do through doing certain other things that might be perceived as success. In a lot of business, I don't work for all these types of business, but you're a coach, and you work in that world as well, and I'm just trying to sort of overlay what we're doing over to my life in general and how this last few weeks has made me reflect. But yeah, one of the elements of success is relationships, isn't it? And how you feel about people, how you feel about yourself, and who you can talk to, who wants to talk to you, and so on. I just think it's good vibes all around doing this, and I'm learning a lot from it. Nathan Simmonds: Good. And this is what this whole situation is about, is they talk about it's wrong, they talk about the meaning crisis in Chinese means danger and opportunity, it doesn't, by the way, it's fake news. It actually means tipping point, it means danger or tipping point. And you're getting to a point where you're tipping, you've got a choice of which way you want that to tip almost. You can carry on going down the road that you're going down, and you've got a choice, or you can step back and go in a different direction. Nathan Simmonds: This is what COVID-19 and any crisis situation gives us an opportunity to look at, to deeply reflect on why we do what we do, and the impact, and why we do it for other people, and what's most important to us. What are the behaviors we want to be role-modeling to our children? Does the audio and the video sync up, as I've heard said before? When you're at work, and I've said to leaders, I ask this question, the way that you behave at work and the things that you talk about, how would your wife or your significant partner or your children react to the way that you speak when you're at work? Nathan Simmonds: Now if those two things don't match up, there's something inherently wrong. And it might be a small detail, but when you look at this, well, actually, what I want to do is, actually I want to do this thing. It's Harvest for Heroes, because it does this and it fills up this. Oh, now it's different. Now you've seen what's possible because you've had an opportunity to deeply reflect, look at what's out there, and now you're seeing this potentiality. And all of a sudden it started moving, and all of a sudden you're potentially in that place of, "Oh shit, it's a thing, and I can do this." Nathan Simmonds: Then it almost becomes a necessity. It's not a maybe at this point, it's like, "Actually, I can see how far this can go. I can see the potential in this. Yes, it's big. Yes, it's scary. And at the same time, yes, it is very exciting, and it would be remiss of me not to move towards that in some way, shape, or form," because it's not about you anymore, it's about everybody else that gets one of those boxes. Oliver Bailey: I agree. Nathan Simmonds: I'll start crying if I carry on down this road. Oliver Bailey: Are you an easy crier, Nathan, like me? Nathan Simmonds: A little bit, but it's when you get into the depth of those sorts of goals and things, that's when the emotion comes up because the goal becomes emotionally engaging, and it becomes magnetic. And you know full well from the last three weeks of going to a hospital, and you can see the looks on people's faces when you do what you do when you're at your fundamental best. Oliver Bailey: You're right, yeah. And I am an easy crier as well. It's funny, I was talking to these care homes, sorry if I'm digressing a bit. Nathan Simmonds: No. Oliver Bailey: I was talking about these. I got a lovely message over the weekend about care homes, about five workers, and this lady said her mom had died in the hospital, or her dad had died in Medway Hospital, which is one of the ones we visited, not far from you, and they weren't allowed in to see their dad. And the mom was in a nursing home. So the dad was 91, [inaudible 00:50:41], but the mom was 96, so none of them were allowed in. I think it's the saddest thing about coronavirus, none of them, you can't see your loved ones, you can't be there at the end. I mean, it's just terrible, it's so sad. Oliver Bailey: Obviously then they had to break the news to their 96-year-old mom over the phone, and I think that's the saddest thing about all of this, it's just when people are telling you their stories like that. It does touch you emotionally. It certainly does touch me emotionally anyway, and I'm an easy crier anyway. We just went outside to sing happy birthday to a bloke who's 91, because he can't get out, and so I'll send you a video after this, but his carers opened the window, and Rachel brings him bread and bits and bobs, and the whole street came out and sang happy birthday to him. It was quite ... I'll send you a video. Oliver Bailey: Then one of the neighbors I had never met before, a couple of doors along, then starts telling me about her kids. She had a son called Ali who died in a car crash. I'm not trying to get too heavy here, but I'm just trying to talk about community and all the stuff that feeds into this, and might make you cry sometimes as well. She was excited, "It's lovely to meet you," and he would've been my age. Honestly, the hairs, I have goosebumps all over me, but it was lovely. Oliver Bailey: That's a snapshot of how being engaging ... I said, "Go and get a picture of him," and she ran into her house and came out with a picture of him. I said, "I think I recognize him from when we were younger from the local pub." But it's that stuff, none of this has anything to do with business, which is where most of my focus has gone on in my life, but it's this stuff that touches you inside. And even if every business collapsed and everything, if you're operating in this way, or if you get more of this, whatever this is, all this stuff, if you get in more of it, I think it goes a long way to sort of persuade you in whatever else is going on or collapsing around you, or business stuff is going on. I mean, where it's a free for all in London, there's nowhere we've got a pub, a business that's been around got any money, whatever. Nathan Simmonds: Yup. Oliver Bailey: But this stuff is hugely important, to me anyway. And I'm sorry because you said you're an easy crier, but obviously to you too. Nathan Simmonds: But I think this is a human thing, and I think that COVID-19 is bringing about that humanity into what we do. That's important. Yeah, you digress, but this is where we're going with businesses, this is how we need to operate more as businesses, small, medium, and large enterprises. Nathan Simmonds: You picked up on two things. So my question now is going to be what are the three most important things needed for effective teamwork in the workplace? You've already tipped one of them, it's relationships, for me personally. The other one was it's engaging. Like you say, going out in the back garden and singing happy birthday to a 91-year-old, it's engaging. What's the one other thing, then, that is needed for effective teamwork in the workplace? Oliver Bailey: I would probably think it's admitting your weaknesses. I know we've touched on it earlier on, but the openness in terms of admitting your weaknesses and being available to support other people's weaknesses. Nathan Simmonds: I was going to say that's lovely in itself, I mean in a nutshell, is absolutely perfect. Oliver Bailey: Because I've had run-ins ... I need to admit my weaknesses more, you know? Process and things like that have never been my strengths. In business in the past, maybe I've butted heads with people. And one of the problems, wherever teamwork has completely broken down, where the teamwork has completely broken down is, there's nothing wrong, "I've got talent, and they have got talent," but I'm saying, "I do this and that, and I do this," and they're saying, "Well we do this and that, and you're doing that," and you almost feel you could hire a marriage counselor sometimes for business, where someone just comes in and goes, "Look, you're really good at what you do, and you're really good at what you do, and you don't need to be beating these guys up all the time, or everyone justifying their place here. You go and do that, and you go and do that, and you don't touch that." Oliver Bailey: I think sometimes things can breakdown in business, and teamwork is a result of that. I think that's important. Nathan Simmonds: Nice. Relationships, engaging, admitting your weaknesses, and also supporting other people in their weaknesses and bringing that together. Nice. Final couple of questions for me. Who's help and support do you need right now to get this message out right now even further? Oliver Bailey: For Harvest for Heroes, well, I think it's difficult because we're in a time now where there are a lot of fundraising initiatives going on. We've all had our ass handed to us by our lovely old military chap. What's the name? Nathan Simmonds: Tom Moore. Oliver Bailey: Tom, Tom, yes. I mean, wow, if you're going to get your ass whopped in charity wars, then you want it to be by Commander Tom, don't you? I mean, just phenomenal. So I mean, what do we want to do with it now? If people believe, and you seem to, that this is a good thing that we're doing, or there is the need, and I am really believing that more and more every day now having had [inaudible 00:56:29], it comes down to raising money. I think that's where my focus is at the moment because I'm speaking to more and more people, be it care homes, other hospitals. Oliver Bailey: We're now going national, and we're delivering on Friday, we're going to Rotherham, Manchester, Southport, Olmskirk, Preston, and [Porterdale 00:56:50], and Huddersfield. So I'm going to go up there, and get in the car, and go around with delivery, and shake hands with all these people. It's going to be a long day, but that's what we need to do. Oliver Bailey: But there is a demand there, and it is going national. Some of these places in the North are quite a drive areas, but they really do need this more maybe than some of the boroughs in London we've already delivered to. And it comes back to raising awareness and donations. It sounds a bit crass, really when I talk about it like that, but it does. I mean, I'm looking at things like businesses maybe sponsoring hospitals, or people that can sponsor hospitals that they've got a good relationship with, or care homes, sponsoring a care home. We're trying to put things like that together. Oliver Bailey: We just want to get funds, turn it into fruit and veg, and give it to where people are grateful and everyone's a winner. I'm fully aware that businesses are struggling at the moment, and as are individuals, so I don't know if it's the best plan to be doing a fundraising initiative. But I mean, Tom has proved us all wrong on that. I don't know, that's the help I need to get this message out further. Nathan Simmonds: I think you're right in the sense that Tom Moore has raised an astronomical amount of money for a good cause doing what he does. Yes, there are some people that are struggling out there. And at the same time, there are other people there that have 50p to give, or they have 50,000 to give. Oliver Bailey: Yup. Nathan Simmonds: If you can find people that are able to donate small, large, or whatever into that pot, that's a benefit. On the other side of it, if there are businesses in local regions of NHS trusts or hospices or whatever that wish to sponsor those locations at this time, this is a prime opportunity to do that through Harvest for Heroes, with healthy veg boxes going to people that need it so they don't have to think about their shopping and they can make healthier choices, which is going to help keep them moving forward for longer, now and also in the future as well. Oliver Bailey: And we're looking into how do you do that. I'm not an expert, again, at this, so I'm not sure how we do that. At the moment, we've largely been you get some publicity and you get that spike in donations, and then, you know, we're doing it all right. I mean, we've raised a good sum of money in a couple of weeks. I suppose I might even talk to you about this afterwards, how we get some help, or what may be a strategy about if we all agree it's a good idea about getting money. Yeah, that's certainly something that I need to focus, I think, at the moment. Nathan Simmonds: So right now, if you're watching this, if you're a small, medium, large enterprise and you wish to sponsor an NHS Trust or an NHS organization that's near you that needs support, you can do that through Oliver Bailey, and we will share the links for the Just Giving page shortly. Even if you want to sponsor a small amount of money, whatever you are able to contribute to this cause right now, what is the link for this, Oliver? What's the Just Giving page that you've got at the moment? Oliver Bailey: I'm happy for anyone to phone me. We've got an email address, we've got a website, just Harvest, F-O-R, You can donate through that. There's a link from there to the Just Giving site. We have an Instagram, HarvestForHeroes, where there's video clips and pictures of nurses and some really good content on there. We have a Just Giving page, Harvest For Heroes in Just Giving, but again you can get that through the website. We're on Twitter. And is my email address. Anyone can ring me up, you can get me at my mobile number, they can ring me up. Oliver Bailey: We just want to be doing a good thing. If anyone wants to be involved in that, then I will talk to them and we'll work out a plan. Whether it's sponsoring the hospital or sponsoring a care home, or donating a fiver. My lines of communication are open. Every time I have a conversation with someone around what we're doing, whoever it may be, I feel good about it. So that's how they can help, or I'd be happy to talk to anyone. Nathan Simmonds: You talk about, Oliver, the fact that you feel good about it. People are giving, and they can see where this is going to. Like you say, it's been on the news, it's been on the radio. It's not just for now, this is supporting these people moving forward. So for them, to donate to that in any way, shape, or form is going to make them feel good at the same time. Do you know what, Oliver? Oliver Bailey: Absolutely. Nathan Simmonds: Thank you for today, thank you for what you're doing. Please continue doing this. It's needed, and for team building ideas and teamwork examples, this, I think what you've done is going to be a phenomenal case study for the people working on the team, and I think it's going to be a phenomenal case study for other people looking at the way this team comes together and works. And like you say, looking back and looking at the failures and successes out of what you're doing now so that you can get to more people in the future and continue to grow this and turn it into something even bigger and even more magnificent than it is right now. Phenomenal. Thank you, appreciate it. Oliver Bailey: Nathan, I really appreciate your support. It's lovely to talk to you. I appreciate you distilling, for the listeners, my ramblings. We're having a lovely time doing this, so yeah, we're good vibes all around. Thank you very much. Nathan Simmonds: Appreciate it. And for those of you that are listening, go to Just Giving page. Find Oliver Bailey, make a donation because you know it's absolutely the right thing to do at this point. I look forward to catching up with you on the next interview. Thanks very much.
For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Team Building Skills and our Team Building Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Team Building Skills Tips and articles.
Brought to you by Making Business Matter (MBM) Limited. Trainers to the UK Grocery Industry. Experts at Making Learning Stick. #stickylearning ® of Personal Development Tips told through Short and Sticky Stories