How a business consultant is WORKING FOR GOOD! FUNdraising magazine talks to Lee Lam of Lee Lam Consultancy Ltd about how and why she donates to charity through her business. Report by Barbara Field-Holmes
ee Lam’s beaming, warm smile puts you at ease as soon as she meets you and is soon chatting about her work and telling me all about giving to charity. She says: “When I tell people that I give to charity through my business, I am confirming to them that my business is here to benefit all of society, which is really the purpose of every business – if you think about it! I am able to improve my own reputation and people want to work with me because they know in a way they are giving back as well.” Lee describes herself as a ‘disruptor consultant’, so I asked what exactly that meant? “I work with individuals and companies to drastically rethink their ‘status quo’ and to get their actions more in line with their desired outcomes,” she explains. A key question asked on the Lee Lam website is, “Are your blind spots disrupting your potential?” Lee explains further: “There are always blind spots – characteristics of you and your organisation that you don’t have visibility of but you know could cause you problems. Some of them are harmless and low risk; others can cause significant damage if left unchecked.” Lee Lam Consultancy offers a range of services and packages tailored for businesses (including start ups) or for individuals. She adds: “I believe that the status quo should be constantly challenged and validated, because I believe you can always be better. I want you to understand the power of confusion, of taking what you know and turning it on its head. Not by thinking out of the box, but ignoring the box completely!” Lee’s career began and developed in technology within financial services, where after 23 years she reached COO and Chief of Staff level positions. During that time, she also ran a coaching consultancy for 14 years, doing both business consultancy and personal coaching. She says: “I enjoy the mix of corporate acumen and emotional intelligence to carry on both the career and business and I believe it is the combination of both that makes me a formidable asset! “I have something of a complicated career path, with one constant,” continues Lee. “I always strove to get to positions where I could challenge current ways of thinking and create something better. This didn’t always make me popular, but my tenacity meant I implemented multiple ideas that I was told wouldn’t or couldn’t work. I found that the main reason for the lack of optimism was because it involved getting the people in the organisation enthusiastic and that felt too complex – whereas for me, that was the exciting part. “I am different because of how I do my work, not what I do,” she emphasises. It’s certainly worth looking at the Lee Lam website to find out more about how Lee works and how she could benefit your company or you as an individual. So what inspired Lee to join Work for Good and start donating to charities?
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016 and had to have surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy as part of my treatment plan. Staff in the Chartwell Cancer Unit, Princess Royal University Hospital, Kent, looked after me for the following nine months. During that time, the team there was incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and patient (I like asking lots of questions and thankfully, they never minded answering them!), and I saw a perfect example of people doing work that had real meaning for them, and had a real purpose. “This had a huge impact on the way I viewed my work and made me want to do business my way, because when you work with passion and purpose, you achieve so much more. I was also aware that many of the little details that made my treatment time so bearable – extra breast cancer nurses, new furniture, chairs and equipment for the chemotherapy ward – were paid for by The Chartwell Cancer Trust. When I joined Work for Good, I knew that I wanted to keep supporting the unit by supporting this charity, and in my own little way, give back to the men and women who looked after me through a very stressful time.” In 2018 Lee pledged to give 10% of every invoice she raised between March and December to The Chartwell Cancer Trust – “the charity that supported me during my cancer treatment”. Lee raised over £1,000 for The CCT. She also organised an event where the ticket price was offered back to the charity of their choice, allowing her to not only give back but also to let more people know of the Work for Good organisation. Lee Lam is continuing to give throughout 2019. She says: “I really want to continue with the percentage donation pledge from last year, but I also feel that there is an opportunity to attach it to events and launches I do as part of my business, where it can gain more exposure and highlight this important work even more.” Work for Good is the brainchild of Rupert Pick, who was inspired to give back to the amazing hospital staff who cared for his daughter Ottie. Ottie was born 10 weeks premature, weighing less than 3lbs and with two rare genetic conditions that affect both her bones and her heart. When Rupert decided to donate the fees from his next workshop to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, it made him wonder about all the wonderful things that could happen if only more businesses chose to give through their work. Work for Good’s member charities range from small local charities, such as The Chartwell Cancer Trust, to national and international organisations. All UK registered charities are welcome. For more information visit https://workforgood. co.uk/faqs/ For more details about Lee Lam Consultancy Ltd, please visit https:// www.leelam.co.uk/
The C&K FUNdraising Magazine Issue 29 – 2019