Admittedly, writing a review of this year feels kind of wrong. Everyone of us had their package to carry. I think we all have to take a deep breath and probably want to look forward rather than back.
But if the last year taught me one thing, it was that at Manitober we REALLY had the opportunity to question our given behavioral patterns.
As Manitober we swing so many speeches about ‚questioning structures‘, ‚offering alternatives‘ and ’doing things differently’, it has almost gotten the upper hand. But this year I celebrated a new dimension of leaving the comfort zone for myself, that sometimes I have the feeling that I want to do things better or differently is my new comfort zone. Not losing touch with reality can be difficult in between. Fortunately, I was able to win a few new employees this year, who regularly fix my helium balloon to the office chair.
A year ago I was sitting alone in my small office, since November we have been stacking up, we even had to organize and update us who’s coming to the office so everyone has a spot to work. What came with it was an new necessary dimension of internal communication, which we first had to grow into. Despite that, or precisely because of this, we were able to rediscover Manitober for ourselves. Projects and ideas can now be implemented more quickly and everyone's personal drive involved sharpens our focus and helps everyone to get better at their work. As a result, we all had to learn a new form of work: participation and transparency both externally and with one another.
Yes, a lot has happened at Manitober – but in my opinion the interesting aspect is above all the personal development and change that we have all gone through in the past few months. Vocational qualifications have been obtained, houses have been built, stable jobs have been terminated in a hurry and partnerships have been dissolved.
With such a close and friendly cooperation as we have it in our team, that was not a negligible factor in terms of our common well-being – Corona was actually somehow just a by-product. Nevertheless, we have achieved quite a bit this year and have gotten bigger – in terms of both sales and costs.
Unfortunately, that's our negative balance of the year: Manitober is still living on credit and trying to make ends meet. To be fair, it has to be said that this is not necessarily Coronas fault, but a mixture of the factors workload, lack of experience with it and technical inadequacies. We are therefore currently working on further internal restructuring in order to get a better grip on all problems. A big factor that I wasn't aware of before: data flows, data quality and availability. If you want to make decisions, you have to rely on correct data and get ahold of them even though they are sometimes quite difficult to get ahold of – even in times of big data. A great lesson this year was therefore: Controlling is just as important as clever ideas. Thanks to my friend Jan at this point ;-)
This transition gives me the opportunity to give a thank you again to the people who have given us an incomparable amount of support this year without asking anything in return. No money, sales not as expected, accounting due? Nothing can shock me when I know that there are people who just like what we do. Not even the clothes, but the basic idea and approach of how we want to interlink nature, society and the economy more sustainably.
Long story, good sense: If you want to get ahead, you have to be willing to run uphill. We all had to, and we will continue to do so in the upcoming year. Let's go each our own way hand in hand. And talk. About politics, about family, about worries. Online and offline.
All the best,