Guest blogger Lauren Leatherby is a first-year Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School who spent Winter Break…
Wide open spaces
Innovation in collaboration
Proximity has grown rapidly, from a small founding team, to become the largest social enterprise in Myanmar - employing hundreds across the country. You might think we must have gone corporate, or that we’d lost touch with each other, but you’d be wrong. Just like when we were 13 people, we still operate on a flat structure, we still go on holiday together once a year, and we still have big dinners together every few months. It’s just a bit more difficult now to find enough rooms or chairs to fit us.
Being a social business, we’re forced to be competitive and results-oriented, with a bias towards action and with highly efficient spending. But this doesn’t mean we’re stuffy. We’re designers too and we’ve made an organization that reflects this mentality - open, creative and design focused. Communication across teams and townships is vital to our growth and improvement, as is an investment in staff development. We hold annual training academies - inspired by the ‘corporate universities’ of leading international businesses - for all of our staff, during which hard and soft skills are taught, and knowledge and insights shared. As an organization, and as individuals, we are always looking for opportunities to improve and develop.