Servane's interview and how to prototype to do a quicker transition
"Prototype: Do it in your spare time, go and meet people, volunteer, and importantly hold a thinking journal of your experiences, your insights"
Directeur Ogunte CIC & Social Innovations Management Consultant: www.servanemouazan.co.uk
More on Ogunte: https://www.ogunte.com/
First tell me about your transition: what happened, what were you looking for and where are you right now.
I have had a succession of mini transitions in my life. Started my adult life by being engaged in activism, arts, community action. My brief experience in marketing and customer service in big IT and pharmaceutical companies made me realise that I needed to have a purpose bigger than some large corporations’ financial bottom line. One day I came in the office in an industrial estate, the first thing I saw was the ranking of the company on the stock exchange I felt suddenly so empty. It was totally disconnected with what I loved doing. That was a decisive point. I needed to break away from this. This was the start of my big adventure. Since then I have built Ogunte, an organisation that amplifies the work of women in social enterprises, in various parts of the world.
What surprised you most about your transition?
Well, as everything in life: "the most obvious answers to your questions are always very close to you".
For me, the answers were coming from people around me who know me, and kept repeating very interesting facts and truths about me, what I stood for, etc. That can give you a few clues. It’s about seeing what’s in front of your nose. For me the eagerness to work for the women’s cause had been there all my life. I just didn’t see it straight away.
Looking back from where you are now, any advice you would give yourself when you started your transition?
It’s good to think but start doing quicker. Get on your feet and start prototyping the next phase of your life. Do it in your spare time, go and meet people, volunteer, and importantly hold a thinking journal of your experiences, your insights, building that prototype.
What skills have you gained in the process?
Throughout all the mini transitions, I learned to merge ideas and actions that seemed first very disconnected from each other. So the important skill in your transition is actually to make sense of your world and the world around you, weaving a story. That is something that stays with you, like a great sport practice.
How did you navigate the stormy times?
I cried, I got sad, but I noticed that brainstorming with others, reflecting on my skills and abilities and importantly, getting clarity on how I could serve people in my ecosystem. That made me feel connected, and that is how I navigated the stormy times.