Chris Lowis by Chris Lowis

Week 696

We rented some office space at Waterloo on Monday morning so we could get together to talk about whether and how to restructure GFR so that it better suits our individual circumstances.

In the past, GFR finances were pretty simple. We all got paid the same salary and our task was to bring in enough income to pay that salary, our fixed costs and, hopefully, generate a bit of surplus for a rainy day, a side-project or two and to allow us to donate cash or time to things we believed in.

Over the past few years for globally-obvious reasons, and because we all have child- and other caring responsibilities, our ability and availability to work for GFR has changed. We’re currently working on some changes that will, hopefully, reflect our individual circumstances in the money we take out of GFR but also make it easier to decide what each of us works on when.

We asked for some suggestions in one of our co-op network chat groups and received the response: “We’ve been struggling with this for 10 years!” so we know we’re not alone. Although it is a struggle, and it sometimes requires difficult conversations about money and the value of work, it feels good to me that we’re able to have these conversations and make changes as we see fit.

It’s not all been introspective though. This week we’ve done a little bit of work for Lollipop. We agreed a, new for us, retainer-style agreement to provide a small amount of ongoing support after our full-time engagement ended. It’s a bit challenging to context switch to a different project for a few hours a week, but it’s also good to keep in touch with the people we met there.

I’ve continued to do a small amount of consultancy work (this week mostly helping review hiring plans) for Access Social Care via the Disrupt Foundation. James wrote an excellent blog post off the back of automating one of our manual tasks. And we’ve spoken to a few potential clients about projects they have coming up. We (and our bank manager) hope to have some work lined up in the not too distant future. But as always, if you have a GFR-shaped hole in your organisation please get in touch.

If you have any feedback on this article, please get in touch!

Historical comments can be found here.