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Being nimble

June 2020

Teddy Nyahasha

Nimble isn’t a word you’d ordinarily use to describe a financial organisation, but I’d argue that being agile – able to move swiftly and decisively when needed – is an absolute necessity in the current climate.

Making a difference

In my previous post I talked about my team at OneFamily and the exceptional way that they embraced the rapid change in our work landscape as we went into lockdown.  They simply got on with things and made sure that our customers’ needs were met; with positivity, good-humour and optimism.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

So, when we wanted to set up a Hardship Grant, to help those who are suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the team got it up and running in just a few days.  This means that families are now getting help with rent, bills, food shopping and home-schooling equipment that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.  Similarly, they managed to swiftly put a new Community Grant round in place, ensuring that we provide funding to organisations that are really making a difference during the current crisis.

Our Over 50s insurance team saw that the extra pressure on the NHS could cause delays to the claims process, at a time when worried and seriously ill customers would be most in need of support.  So, they found a way for claims to be made based on existing evidence, reducing the processing time and meaning that the NHS isn’t burdened with paperwork when it needs to be caring for patients.

Some lifetime mortgage customers are more comfortable with face to face meetings and, understandably, want a family member present – which is not always possible at the moment.  However, with an increased acceptance of apps like FaceTime, Houseparty and Zoom by customers, our team found a way to make it work with a secure virtual platform.  It’s the next best thing to a real meeting and allows us to walk customers and their families through our recommendations live on screen.

The right mindset

So, our secret to being nimble is our team.  People who will pull out all the stops for something they really care about.  They’ll find a way around the challenges.  They’ll get creative. They’ll be nifty of foot.  In short, I know they’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Change is going to happen; we can’t stop it and no-one knows what it is going to look like.  However, what we can control is the way we respond to it.  Rather than be fearful, we need to be agile, to move with and not react against whatever is thrown at us.  This is when you need the right people, with the right mindset on your team.  People who are as invested in the business as the business is in them – we care about our colleagues’ happiness and I think that shows.

Being nimble has never been so important.  In fact, right now, it is absolutely essential and I’m proud of each and every single one of my team for their agility and determination to keep moving the business forwards.


Teddy is a strong supporter of diversity, inclusion and equality. A passionate believer in social mobility and financial inclusion; he is using his position as CEO of OneFamily to help the young, the disadvantaged and the marginalised to reach beyond their expectations. His view is that everyone in society should have the same opportunities to access financial products – regardless of their wealth.

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