Growing up as a company, and the next steps with ffrinDiaith

A short entry this week, because I have to go and pick up Angharad Lliar from school pretty soon, and I’ve just got back from a trip to Aberystwyth (two hours each way, but pleasingly my back seems to have held up okay) – which means my brain isn’t exactly in top gear!

The most important thing happening this week has, without doubt, been our first week as a ‘proper’ employer – with Ifan starting on Monday, and galloping through a whole bundle of important design-related stuff in his first few days.  It’s been a pleasure ‘working’ with him, if you can call this sort of fun ‘work’, and I’m absolutely convinced that it’s going to turn into a huge step forward for the company.

It also brings with it a very odd sense of new responsibilities – Iestyn and I agree very strongly that if we’re going to build a company (which is going to be necessary if we’re to have any chance of making courses available for every language!) it needs to be a company that works more like a family than a traditional company.  So far, it feels as though the best way to make sure that happens is to have ‘happiness’ as one of the main goals for people who work with us.

Which is very fuzzy and vague!  I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more about what is and isn’t a good way to build on that fuzzy, vague aim in the months to come – and I hope that Ifan will be patient with the mistakes we’re bound to make along the way.  One thing he won’t be short of, though, will be genuine appreciation for his excellent skills, and for how pleasant it is to build stuff with him…:-)


I missed the first meeting of the 6 Welsh for Adults ‘Informal Learning’ group to which I was invited, about three months ago, because of my back.  This time round, the back is still far from sorted, and Beuno decided that this would be the ideal time to develop a particularly horrible infection, but I felt that it would be genuinely unfair of me to carry on letting Siôn down by not pitching up.  Beuno has spent the day huddled on the sofa, with Catrin unable to go more than  a few inches away from him, but hey, they’ve survived, and that’s the key point.

And it was good to talk about ffrinDiaith with the interesting people at the meeting – plenty of good ideas for how to develop it over the weeks and months to come, and a very patient understanding of the fact that even with Ifan on board full-time, we still have to work within time limitations in terms of development.  

I think (hope!) they’ll really like the new site design, though, and there are a few good quick fixes (such as, er, actually explaining what ffrinDiaith is on the landing page!) which will have an immediately good impact.

Judging from the responses so far, ffrinDiaith is already changing people’s lives (yes, for the better!) so I’m as enthusiastic as ever for us to be part of what I hope is going to turn into a really important project for the future of the language.

Right, better go and get the daughter.

If you’re lucky/unlucky (delete as applicable), I might be back to thinking more generally about language learning next week…:-)

Oh, did I say that I’ve finished the 10 session framework for our Welsh for Parents course?  Hmmm – a quick check reveals that I’d got 9 out of 10 done when I last posted – so hurray, I’ve got the tenth done now – and it’s immediately clear that I’m going to need at least another 5, but they can come a little later.

We’ll get going with the northern recording for that asap and hope to have it in the shops, er, sorry, I mean on the website in time for Christmas!  Okay, perhaps not actually technically in time for Christmas, but certainly before the seasonal goodwill has entirely faded (I’m hoping you lot feel at least faintly Christmassy until about the end of February…;-)).


Incidentally, and quite bizarrely, the Welsh for Adults meeting was held in a what used to be a hall of residence in Aberystwyth – more specifically, it used to be the hall of residence in which I spent two very happy years.  I could remember who used to live in the room we were using!

And naturally I walked past one of my old rooms just to check.

It seems to be the reception for something to do with PGCE training, which doesn’t feel like the most appropriate choice possible (since I wriggled out of ever actually doing a PGCE) – but I suppose it could have been worse.  Somehow.

Time appears to be slipping past.  I’d better get a move on with my life!

6 responses to “Growing up as a company, and the next steps with ffrinDiaith

  1. Is this your idea of a short entry?
    Interesting as always though. Especially like the refreshing (and much more rewarding, I believe) philosophy that you have regarding your company 🙂 keep the happiness flowing!

    • Yup, that was short! I have the same problem when talking (always trying to work on it, though!)…;)

      Fundamentally, I believe that if someone believes in the value of what they’re trying to build, and believes in their own value, then they’re bound to be happy – but making sure both of those beliefs are firmly in place is where it seems to get a bit more fuzzy. Interestingly fuzzy, though…:)

  2. I am reminded of the Himalayan kingdom (Bhutan?) that has as one of its regular national measurements a “GNH” index – Gross National Happiness. Could be much worse!

    • Diolch! Bhutan sounds right, or at least rings a bell – and I think it’s a pity that more countries haven’t followed that lead. Not everything good is measurable, but if you’re trying to measure some of the things that matter, that’s got to be a better direction…:-)

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