Welcome to my blog! This week I’m talking about products of the future, public speaking and the amazing people I met at the Alzheimer’s Show.

Monday

I’m a firm believer that the success of any company depends on the people who work for it – employees who feel valued will always perform better than those who don’t. With this in mind, David and I spent a lot of time today with a performance management company called Culture to Perform, looking at how we can best support our team to fulfil their potential. We discussed many issues including company values, training needs, benefits and pension schemes and the feasibility of starting an annual performance review process.

As we rapidly become a bigger business, we’re determined to meet all the challenges that might present…including finding an office large enough to accommodate us all. I think we may have found the perfect new work space this afternoon when David and I visited Runway East. We both agreed we’d found  a very cool building with a great vibe, and best of all it’s only 150 yards from our current location - so no extra time commuting!

Tuesday

Had an interesting meeting with a company called Relink Device which is developing an innovative new day clock. The day clock of the future (it’s about 12 months away from launch) will be more like a TV which uses all kinds of clever technology, including facial recognition to reminding the person with dementia of appointments, activities etc. It’s good to realise that innovators such as Relink are seeking us out for advice on everything from marketing strategies to pricing.

David and I also had a fascinating meeting with Tamara Rajah from Live Better With…which aims to do exactly the same as Unforgettable, only for people living with cancer. It was great to chat with Tamara and to share our learning. Live Better With launched around the same time as Unforgettable and I’m sure we’ll continue to help one another.

Wednesday

Did some last minute preparations for a presentation I’m giving this afternoon to dementia specialists at Kings College Hospital, London. I was quite nervous as the ‘audience’ consisted of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses and outreach workers all of whom have a great deal of knowledge and experience. Thankfully, the presentation went well and everyone seemed genuinely fascinated by what we’re doing, and particularly keen to learn more about our products. It was a massively rewarding experience for me, especially when I was asked to return to the hospital and speak to individual departments. Thanks to dementia nurse specialist Emma Ouldred for all her help setting it up. I’m very keen to do more presentations like this, they are nerve-wracking but so worthwhile.

James at Kings

Thursday

I thought I was fairly savvy with technology, but today I was introduced to the digital communication platform Google Hangouts which makes it easy to work quickly and efficiently with colleagues all over the world. A graphic designer I’m currently working with in Utah told me about it and we’ve both been using it to share work and talk. It’s brilliant - and the time difference means that he can work on whatever we’ve discussed while I’m sleeping…and when I come into the office the next day, it’s all finished! Technology just gets better and better.
Spent the afternoon at London’s Olympia, with our fantastically hard working intern Melissa Ross. Together, we managed to prepare our stand for the Alzheimer’s Show which begins tomorrow.

Friday and Saturday

This was the first time Unforgettable has been represented at the Alzheimer’s Show and I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the event. It turned out to be a really enjoyable, emotionally overwhelming experience, not just for me but for the whole team.

Friday started off super busy, so many people wanted to know more about us, the products we sell and what we’re trying to do. It was wonderful to meet customers, including professional carers, family carers and people with dementia.  Quite a few people came up to us and talked openly and honestly about their own dementia journeys, and I have to admit I found myself getting quite teary and emotional. One lady simply said, ‘thank you, I love what you’re doing.’

It was an exhausting couple of days – I also gave another presentation – but incredibly worthwhile and what really stood out was the bravery of the people we met. I’ve been on the journey that they have ahead of them. I sincerely hope we can help them in some way and wish them all the very best of luck.

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