Having promised the MYSA team a session to bring everything we’d been working on to life, Laura and I took our places at the front of the room to deliver a (rather underprepared) performance management role play. Even with the addition of some light hearted fun (Laura’s light-hearted mocking my most recent performance rating) the team seemed to grasp the key ideas and were quickly up and running in giving their own performances. For us, the best moment of the morning was when Ismail pulled Laura to side and suggested that they facilitate a similar sort of session with their Managers so that they too understand the process – they were serious about implementing this and making it work!
From the outset our approach had been to leave MYSA with a range of tools, templates, frameworks and approaches that they could build upon themselves. So we spent the rest of the day working with them to progress some of their individual deliverables – objectives for competency behaviours, job descriptions for each MYSA function, and best practice HR policies. With the team hard at work we took the opportunity take a step back and reflect on our time at MYSA. That we achieved what we did in such a short space of time and to a very high standard is testament to the ambition and commitment that the entirety of the MYSA Management Team brought to the table.
Five bells – it was time go. But before the farewells and goodbyes, the MYSA team had a couple of parting gifts for us. A t-shirt and a football made of plastic bags (actually much cooler than it sounds and in practice, the first football that the children in the slums get to play with) were presented to us by Veronica and Macqulate and I quickly discovered that leaning in for a kiss on the cheek was far from protocol in sub Saharan Africa. Fortunately, though, my embarrassment didn’t last long – they’d given Tom an extra small t-shirt!
Driving out of MYSA’s front gates for the final time and phone rings. It’s BA: flight delayed until 1am. Great news, not – especially as they informed us that we should still arrive on time ‘just in case’ the plane can get away earlier than expected. So our trip to Nairobi finished with a long wait in the departure lounge. The time went by quick enough as we relived some of funnier memories from the week and laughed about how differently it was ending compared with how it started – waiting in a barren airport with scant shopping or entertainment and even void of a decent restaurant. We boarded the plane in the middle of the night for a disturbed night’s sleep filled with memories of our time in Kenya to wake up, eight hours later, back in reality.