On the 5th July 2018 Poutama acknowledged its 30th year of operation. Don’t worry though, there will be a celebration!!
The establishment of Poutama was one of the outcomes from the 1984 Hui Taumata. Poutama was formally established as a Charitable Trust with a capital base of $10m on 5th July 1988. A board of five trustees was appointed and an office set up in Newmarket, Auckland.
Poutama relocated to Wellington in the early 1990s and remained there until 2015 when it then shifted to Rotorua. Today Poutama has a capital base of $34m. The capital is preserved and if possible grown while the organisation runs its operations and delivers its services off the return on investment. This fluctuates between $1.5m-$2m per annum.
Having its own capital base is part of Poutama’s secret sauce to its longevity as it has enabled a wide degree of freedom on how the organisation operates. Unencumbered by rules, regulations, bureaucracy and reporting, Poutama adjusts its style of operation according to the environment it moves in.
Other ingredients to this secret sauce include a kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face to face) style of operation. We know that businesses like nothing more than you turning up at their place and seeing them in action. It also gives us a greater appreciation of the challenges and opportunities that a business faces.
But wait there are still more ingredients.
Technology and mobility play a big part. Poutama total staff numbers have never exceeded more than five people. At the moment we’re in a growth phase and numbers are now up to a massive 5.5 staff. Much of this is thanks to technology and being very mobile. At any one time Poutama is delivering its services right throughout Aotearoa, running collaborative projects in different parts of the country and operating a stream of international activities. While also dealing with service providers, suppliers, fund managers, high flyers, under the radar flyers, bureaucrats, ruffians and likeable rogues.
This brings in another bunch of ingredients that include; networks, relationships, connections and leverage. When you combine all of these you have a powerful mix that enables you to project exponentially so that you appear a lot bigger than you really are.
To top the sauce recipe off you add in flexibility, adaptability and seat of the pants thinking, along with being comfortable moving in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It also helps when most of your staff and governors have at some stage started up and operated their own business. They know what being in business is like, they’ve lived and breathed it. This is what gives Poutama a real point of difference, we’ve been there and done that!
But the best thing about being part of the Poutama whanau is that many of the businesses we’ve worked with have also become our extended whanau. This means that no matter what part of the country we are in, we’ve got a place to stay and wonderful home caught and cooked kai.
Many of the businesses we’ve met have become part of Poutama’s most powerful ingredient, its network, or as we like to say “you’re part of the Poutama whanau now.” Networks, networking and being networked are the most important drivers for Poutama.
We’ve been mixing up all these ingredients for 30 years, so it’s time for one massive AS celebration!!