The sense of an ending

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The business world loves a launch. Every freshly appointed CEO wants to get started by starting something. And many leaders have a sophisticated understanding of how to begin their reign with a crafted, credible, down-to-earth organisational narrative that draws employees into their business strategy and empowers them to be part of the living story of the organisation.

But too many businesses give people a ‘living’ story without thinking about what comes next. Because everything that lives must die. And, as humans, we love an ending. Especially because, like many novels which begin in the shadow of death (Great Expectations starts in a graveyard; White Teeth with a failed suicide attempt), the sense of an ending is often the cue for the beginning of something new.

The great literary critic Frank Kermode highlighted this tendency in his book The Sense of an Ending. He charts how we all – individually and collectively – find ourselves constantly in the middle of a story, and we yearn for endings as milestones that help us to think about who we are, what we are doing – and guide us to pivot towards something new, the next thing.

Behavioural economics underlines this need for finality; as Robert Cialdini points out in his recent book Pre-suasion, we have a demonstrable ‘craving for cognitive closure’. It’s called the Zeigarnik effect (after the Lithuanian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik) and it means our attention is strongly channelled towards unfinished tasks we’re committed to, leading to improved recall compared to completed tasks. Zeigarnik studied a Berlin waiter with a perfect memory for orders before he had distributed the beer and bratwurst, but who couldn’t recall a single detail the moment after he had served his customers.

What does all this mean for organisational storytelling? We find that while businesses are often strong at launching a strategy story (the beginning), and maintaining the drumbeat through progress updates and milestones (the middle), it is the ending that is often neglected. This is for a variety of sensible reasons: strategies come to an end because of failure, or a change in leadership, or a change in market conditions – all of which usually necessitate a new strategy.

But, when launching that new strategy, it is vital you bring the old one to a close, in order to help shift attention and emotional focus away from the old and on to the new. We’ve all experienced shock and surprise that an employee is still clinging onto a strategy slogan months or years after it has become obsolete; however, there is a good and totally human reason for that – the story hasn’t finished for that individual. They are waiting for the next chapter; they are waiting for the sense of an ending, so they can begin anew.

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Prediction or projection? How bias skews data

Many of us will usher 2016 out of the door with a sigh of relief. The year has been a tumultuous one, and the two biggest predictions that were forecast didn’t come to pass. In June, the UK shocked the world by voting to leave the EU, and political pundits were left nursing their wounds this month after Donald Trump’s success in the US election.

The pollster Nate Silver, who has made a successful business out of his forecasting website FiveThirtyEight, successfully predicted the past three US elections. But on this one – and on the election primaries – he got it wrong.

To be sure, Silver’s model built in more uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential campaign – mainstream news outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post gave Clinton an almost certain chance of winning, while FiveThirtyEight pointed out that the race was close, too close to be 99% sure of a Clinton win.

Nonetheless, the events of the past few months have been a reality check for prediction. It’s tempting to believe in a reassuring reality where algorithms and data can provide all the answers. However, as we discussed in our recent article on workplace prediction, data is valuable, but we do need to be cautious about this way of thinking.

Statisticians can build objective, data-driven models and still human bias can have an impact. Ironically, considering that predictive analytics is designed to reduce human error, algorithms and forecasts can reflect the biases of their creators.

“Software making decisions based on data can reflect, or even amplify, the results of historical discrimination” – The Atlantic.

Looking at Brexit and the US election, it’s likely that cognitive bias played a part in polling inaccuracies. Humans are easily swayed, often subconsciously, and this can lead to beliefs being shaped by the ‘bubble’ surrounding them.

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As well as influencing voters, this can have an impact on political forecasts. Nate Silver’s colleague Harry Enten calls this ‘herding’ – when pollsters produce results that are very similar to each other, but in effect they are ‘the blind leading the blind’.

And that’s before all the other human and statistical factors that play a part in polling inaccuracy – lack of a random sample, response rates, margins of error, voter unpredictability and last-minute changes of mind.

In short, there are few straightforward answers, but one thing is for sure: humans can’t resist trying to see what will happen. We don’t cope well with uncertainty, so I’ll leave you with one way to approach the future:

“I know that history is going to be dominated by an improbable event, I just don’t know what that event will be.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

Want to read more thought-leading articles on employee engagement, data and workplace trends? Request a copy of thinkBox, our annual publication, by getting in touch with us at thinkBox@karianandbox.com

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Goodwill is not just for Christmas: it’s time to stand up to hate

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By Ghassan Karian

This is a year that will undoubtedly go down in the history books.

A little over a week ago, a man who preaches hate – hate for women, hate for Mexicans, hate for Muslims, hate for ‘the other’ – was elected as president of the United States. A few months earlier, Britain watched as half its population voted to turn its back on the EU. Choosing isolation and nationalism instead. Right wing extremism is on the rise. Refugees fleeing Syria – a country in the midst of a horrific civil war – are being left stateless. Countless countries are closing their doors, refusing help to those who most desperately need it.

2016 is a year I would rather see erased from the history books. It has not been a good year.

Every November, John Lewis releases a beautifully produced Christmas advert that sets the tone for the festive season. Goodwill to all mankind. Warm fuzzy feelings all around. And these advertisements help to influence our opinions on John Lewis – most people see this as an ethical, forward-thinking brand. They’re employee owned and in their principles, they vow to ‘obey the spirit as well as the letter of the law and to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities where [they] operate’. Their Christmas adverts bring even the steeliest among us to tears.

But John Lewis – and countless other retailers who claim to have high ethical standards –  advertise in The Daily Mail, The Sun and the Daily Express. Newspapers which have been instrumental in propagating racism, bigotry, misogyny and nationalism and in doing so giving power and legitimacy to people like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. Newspapers which have given legitimacy to hate.

A new campaign, ‘Stop Funding Hate’ is seeking to address this. It’s encouraging businesses to put their money where their mouth is and start living the values and ethical standards that they claim to uphold by ending their advertising relationships with these publications.

There are signs that the campaign is starting to take a foothold. LEGO recently announced that they would no longer be running toy giveaways in the Daily Mail and the Co-operative Group will be reviewing its advertising policies in the coming year. But why aren’t more businesses coming forward and making this choice? In his article in The Spectator Brendan O’Neill makes the argument that doing so is an act of censorship rather than ‘a cry for tolerance’.

John Lewis has indicated that they support this position, saying that they ‘never make an editorial judgment on a particular newspaper’. But is this really an editorial judgment?

To my mind, this is first and foremost an issue of ethics. You can’t be ethical on a part time basis. If you say you intend to ‘contribute to the wellbeing of the communities in which you operate’ (John Lewis) or ‘make a positive difference in our community’ (Sainsbury’s), then this should underpin all the decisions you take as a business.

Advertising in newspapers that preach hate isn’t ethical. Now more than ever, we need to act. We need to be brave. We need to speak up against intolerance. As business leaders, we have a huge amount of influence in our communities – it’s time to stand up to hate.

Equal Pay Day and why 50% of your colleagues might not be in tomorrow

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Today is the day when all of us women can pop on our coats, grab our bags and face the cold, horrible commute home for the last time this year.  And let’s face it, this year has been pretty terrible. With Brexit, yesterday’s US election results and what seems like the death of most of our favourite celebrities, I’m not actually that opposed to calling time on 2016. I’d quite like to set up camp at home, with my slippers, a vat of tea and the new John Lewis advert on repeat until 2017 appears.

But why should women get to pack up for the rest of the year and leave our male colleagues to battle on working through the cold winter months? Well, it’s simple: they’re getting paid for it. And we’re not.

In the UK, the difference between the average salaries earned by male and female workers means that women pretty much stop getting paid today. On average, we earn 13.9% less than our team mates or 86.1p for every £1 they earn.  A survey by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR shows that the average salary for a full-time professional woman is £30,612, while a male colleague in the same job takes home £39,136.

Considering women won the right for equal pay in 1970 (a whole 47 years ago), it seems a bit strange that in 2016 we’re still struggling with a pretty large gender pay gap. Big legal cases are still hitting the news in both the public and private sector, showing that women are still having to fight for the right to earn the same salary for doing the same job.

Some critics suggest that the gender pay gap is weighted by an increased tendency for women to work in low-wage jobs, but, for us, that begs the question of what organisations are doing to boost diversity and help women to work in higher-paid jobs – no matter what biological imperatives might mean in our personal lives. It’s worth looking the article in our last thinkBox magazine by Jo Swinson  – the prominent former minister and leading voice in the debates on workplace and gender equality. We know that equality is good for businesses across the globe and we know what we can do to start making the shift towards a more equal and fair society – so why isn’t it happening? I’ll leave it to her to explain.

These statistics are driving people like Jo to urge the government to hurry up on releasing the detail behind the legislation forcing businesses to report on their own gender pay gap which will become law from April next year. Hopefully, when businesses are made to publicise their own performance on pay equality, we’ll start to see a lot less talk, and a lot more action to make it disappear. I really don’t think we can afford to wait another 50 years.

I must say, I was looking forward to taking the rest of the year off and getting all my Christmas prep done in time to truly enjoy the 24/7 showings of Christmas films on the dedicated True Christmas channel. But, I’ve looked to it and discovered that at K&B we don’t have a gender pay gap, so I will be scraping the ice off my windscreen at 7am tomorrow just like my male colleagues.

What will happen to workers’ rights in post-Brexit Britain?

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Great Britain is leaving the EU. There will be consequences on almost every level of our society, from the economy and our political commitments on the continent, to the various EU directives that may no longer form part of our domestic law.

One of the areas likely to be affected is workers’ rights – an issue we wrote about on the day of the EU referendum. Though it is difficult to know exactly what will happen in this central part of our working lives in the post-Brexit future, here we look at some of the possible implications moving forward.

Before the referendum, Trade Union leaders expressed dismay at the idea of a government uninhibited by EU basic minimums. These minimums guarantee maternity and paternity rights, equal treatment for full-time, part-time and agency workers, and the right to paid leave, among others. They predicted that, in the wake of a Leave vote, a Conservative government would remove these rights which are enshrined in European law.

This fear does not seem misplaced. Like their plans to renounce the Human Rights Act, the government has previously tried to implement legislation that would ‘cripple workers’ rights to take strike action’ and remove the Working Time Directive which limits the working week to a maximum of 48 hours on average. But they were prevented from doing so by the EU. Now Britain has left, these efforts could be back on the table, with the one guaranteed protection for workers’ rights – the EU – taken out of the equation.

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EU membership ensures the UK has, among other things, a minimum level of protection around health and safety in the workplace, prevention of discrimination, equal opportunities, and labour laws protecting part-time workers and young people. Already the UK was one of the least regulated EU members, with workers having the right to opt out of the Working Time Directive, fewer protections for agency workers and weaker employment protection regulating dismissals.

As things currently stand, the UK government complies with or exceeds these minimums, but, now they are no longer in place as EU law, they can, and may well be amended or repealed. If the Conservative Party shifts its political position with a change of leadership, further to the right perhaps, Jason Heyes, Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Sheffield, says ‘there would be little to prevent a far more substantial attack on employment rights’.

The crucial fact to understand is that, without any precedent or plan for exiting the EU, no one knows for sure what will happen. The fear is, however, that a UK government without the guaranteed minimum rights and the checks and balances the EU offers would be free to re-legislate. Based on previously declared intentions and the negative prospects from Trade Unions, the future is far from certain and far from bright when it comes to workers’ rights in post-Brexit Britain.

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The EU Referendum: what are the implications for workers’ rights?

A cornerstone of the argument for voting to Remain in the European Union today is the belief that UK membership of the EU guarantees and protects workers’ rights. The counterclaim, from the Leave campaign, contends the exact reverse – that the UK goes beyond the EU prescribed minimums and either ensured certain rights before joining the EU or protects them through independent legislation.

But what are the facts behind the rhetoric – what does the EU do for workers, and what effect will a vote to leave have?

The general secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Frances O’Grady, made a warning earlier this year that sets out the Remain argument for workers quite clearly. She said: “Working people have a huge stake in the referendum because workers’ rights are on the line.

“It’s the EU that guarantees workers their rights to paid holidays, parental leave, equal treatment for part-timers and much more. These rights can’t be taken for granted. There are no guarantees that any government will keep them if the UK leaves the EU. And without the back-up of EU laws, unscrupulous employers will have free rein to cut many of the workers’ hard-won benefits and protections.”

And, in addition to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s assertions that leaving the EU would reduce or even remove these rights, ten of the UK’s trade union leaders wrote a letter to The Guardian earlier this month underlining the importance of EU membership for UK workers moving forward.

Perhaps predictably, this letter was contradicted in a reply from MPs and trade unionists in favour of leaving the EU. They claim that paternity leave is enshrined in UK, not EU, law, that maternity leave in the UK substantially exceeds the EU guaranteed minimum and that equal pay was a UK right before Great Britain became a member of the EU in 1973. On the basis of this history, the implication is that UK governments and employers of the future would continue to protect, and even increase, workers’ rights moving forward.

Amid this confusion in the days and hours before the referendum, what is the truth when it comes to workers’ rights and the EU?

It is true that the EU ensures a base minimum of rights for employees; from health and safety in the workplace and prevention of discrimination to equal opportunities and labour laws protecting part-time workers and young people. The EU Commission sets out explicitly that these are EU directives that must be made a part of the legislation in individual member countries, including the UK.

Just this year, for example, the EU heard from the Foundation for Living and Working Conditions about how to improve standards of living, working conditions and making work sustainable for people living in the EU. It also formed a directive requiring employers to consult staff representatives in cases of collective redundancies and setting out what information they must provide, and they instructed member governments to ratify legislation which prevents forced labour by the end of 2016.

And these rights have been put in place in the UK. Workers are guaranteed the National Minimum Wage, the statutory minimum level of paid holiday, rest breaks, protection against discrimination, fair treatment of part-time workers and many other areas based in UK law. UK workers are protected by laws such as the Employment Rights Act (1996) and the Equality Act (2010), passed by the British government both as a result of EU directives and treaties and independent, UK-sourced law.

A controversial example of this process in action is the Working Time Directive – coming from the EU and implemented by the UK – which governs the number of hours an employee can be asked to work. Right now, the average weekly working time, including overtime, cannot exceed 48 hours. However, some voices of the Leave campaign would seek to amend this law, limiting its application.

And this is where it becomes both confusing and vastly important – what will happen post-Brexit, if that is the decision of the British public? The claims oppose each other – the Remain camp argue that workers’ rights would be damaged, the Leave camp say they would continue to be protected. So who should you believe?

According to BBC Reality Check, the impact of leaving the EU on workers’ rights would very much depend on what legislation future UK governments decide to keep, amend, throw out, or introduce – a matter that is, right now, unknown.

The reality is that, upon leaving the EU, the UK government would no longer be obligated to implement EU directives, but it also has its own laws affecting workers that may well continue as they are. For instance, pre-existing and independent laws protecting rights like annual leave could be unaffected, and EU-sourced legislation, such as women’s rights in the workplace, could be under threat. Put simply, there are no direct answers on which workers’ rights will be maintained and which will be scrapped – these rights, many of which are underscored by or have come directly from the EU, are up in the air in the unknown quantity of a post-referendum future.

The truth behind the rhetoric is, therefore, this: The EU both introduces and underpins many UK workers’ rights, and the UK government both exceeds the minimum EU guarantees and has independent laws guaranteeing extra rights for workers that are not covered by the EU. What all this means after Thursday depends on several variables including future governments and their decisions when it comes to existing and new laws affecting workers’ rights. It is impossible to predict what will happen, but the EU Referendum will certainly have an impact, one way or the other.

The Plague of Business Clickbait

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In the Karian and Box office, we may occasionally be guilty of an enjoyable lunch break scroll through the clickbait rabbit warren that is Buzzfeed. Sure, we’ll click on “The Top 10 Cutest Pictures of Dogs Wearing Socks” or “28 Dogs That Will Make Your Day Instantly Better”. But it’s immensely frustrating when the same approach is extended to more serious topics, like workplace psychology and employee engagement.

In the business space, these topics are widely discussed. However, there’s a huge number of clickbait posts that look temptingly flavoursome but offer insubstantial empty calories. One of the issues, perhaps, is the chasm between academia and the rest of the world – academic findings have a habit either of languishing in the niche publications in which they first appeared or being cherry-picked for the juiciest nuggets while ignoring the rest. Sometimes their findings are misreported by the wider media, keen for a satisfying black-and-white headline and less eager to publish stories sketched in shades of grey.

This happens a lot with employee engagement. Countless posts claim to offer the need-to-know business secrets that will make your employees happier, your business healthier and your bottom line more productive. But when something seems too good to be true, it usually is – there aren’t any quick fixes that will solve business issues overnight.

Even academia isn’t immune to underhand dealings – a 2015 study by U.S. Federal Reserve researchers concluded that almost half of economics papers don’t pass one of the golden tenets of science: the test of replicability.

Employee engagement is a relatively recent concept, but what we’ve found in our research with thousands of employees is that three enablers – vision, team and voice – remain core factors. While some useful takeaway pointers can often be extracted from the melee of articles and posts, a lot of stories simply have the same old messages dressed up in different clothing.

The moral of the story? Always read stories and papers with a questioning view – interrogate claims, make sure they are grounded in evidence and look for different sources that support what they’re saying. It’s best to use common sense and a healthy dose of scepticism when you’re reading up on workplace psychology and business issues.

Wearable tech in the workplace

Wearable technologyWe know that physical and mental wellbeing is important for employee engagement and productivity. There is a clear feedback loop between employee health and engagement with an organisation. Managers who show that they sincerely care about employee wellbeing act as a driver of engagement, and Watson Wyatt (2009) found that highly engaged colleagues are much less likely to take sick days.

An increasing number of companies are investing in the health of their employees with wellness programmes and fitness schemes. Some companies are now even monitoring employees with fitness trackers, in a move that’s reminiscent of Dave Eggers’ The Circle, in which employees swallow tiny trackers and wear bracelets that share every collectable piece of data about their personal wellbeing.

But are these companies going a step too far to encourage their employees to do their recommended 10,000 steps a day? Wearable technology gives companies the ability to collect vast amounts of data on their employees, mining this data for insights which can potentially be linked to business performance indicators such as productivity and financial returns.

Big data is big news – we have the capability to collect more information than ever before, and many of us voluntarily share data about our daily lives, from the location-tracking apps on our smartphones to the social media stories that we ‘like’. Internet surveillance and mass collection of data seems inescapable, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that a survey from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania found that “a large pool of Americans feel resigned to the inevitability of surveillance and the power of marketers to harvest their data”.

The Orwellian ‘Big Brother is watching you’ factor is a huge issue in employees feeling comfortable with wearable tech. While The Economist Intelligence Unit argues that the majority of employees are happy with fitness monitoring as long as they receive a clear and transparent privacy guarantee, the Penn-Annenberg research counters this with the finding that knowledge is not a prerequisite for trust. In their survey, people who know the most about marketing practices are more likely to be resigned to their inevitability – they feel powerless to change anything.

Supporters of wearable tech argue that it is harmless as long as it is transparent. But it seems that many people actually feel it is futile to challenge the omnipresent collection of personal information, believing that they have already lost control over their data.

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That’s not to say that wearable technology in the workplace is all bad – it has clear potential. Take ‘SmartCaps‘, for instance. A SmartCap is a baseball cap with a difference: it contains sensors to detect alertness levels and fatigue, and sounds an alarm before a dangerous “micro-sleep event”. Rio Tinto and Anglo American are among the businesses who have started to implement this new technology, helping to increase safety in their mines.

But it can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have clear advantages for using products such as SmartCaps, especially considering that operator fatigue is one of the main reasons for mining accidents. On the flip side, the high-level nature of monitoring technology means that companies can choose to monitor the tiniest details of their employees’ workdays – leading to ethical issues such as invasion of privacy, security dangers like data breaches and cyber-attacks, and the potential for lowered morale and engagement.

It might also be worth considering that instead of searching for a technological solution to issues in the workplace, there could be other simpler and less costly solutions. If fatigue is a major issue, perhaps focusing on scheduling (e.g. optimal working hours and break times) could help to resolve the problem. SmartCaps are a great idea, but they can’t stop someone being fatigued unless they are paired with a fix that addresses the root cause.

A more dubious example of wearable tech in the workplace is Amazon’s alleged use of electronic trackers to monitor the number of boxes that employees pack, sensing if workers are spending time chatting or taking too many bathroom breaks. It’s a brutal system of ‘survival of the fittest’, with GPS trackers allegedly being used to track the routes employees take – employees who work in these types of conditions are at an increased risk of physical and mental illness. There are many dangers to this type of monitoring: it treats workers like machines and sends signals to employees that they can’t be trusted, creating a culture of fear and blame.

For the time-being, it’s up to individual companies to set their own parameters on wearable tech – there isn’t a set of agreed standards or best practices for its use. We think that the most important starting point is that wearable tech programmes should always be optional. Even when they have an excellent purpose – like the SmartCap – making them mandatory could be a slippery slope towards a dystopian future.

If organisations choose to use wearable tech as a way of increasing engagement, they need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and the possibility that it could backfire.

The Flip Side of Freedom: when unlimited vacation time backfires

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Indulgent employee benefits such as unlimited time off policies may sound like they were dreamed up by a bored worker on a slow Tuesday.

However, offering unrestricted holiday is becoming more widespread among companies, especially in the US. Virgin, Twitter and LinkedIn employees all have the luxury of unlimited paid vacation time, and several young companies and start-ups are following suit.

Clearly, it places a huge amount of trust in the individual employee – allowing them to take time off at their discretion and having confidence in them to make the judgement that it won’t damage their projects, their career or the interests of the business.

At face value, this sounds like a leap towards utopia – who would say no to unlimited holiday? But these policies have a clever effect. Giving employees the freedom to take vacation time as and when they please actually constrains their leisure time. Your first thought might be: why? Surely offering employees unlimited paid time away from their jobs is going to result in a few ‘bad eggs’ milking the policy for all it’s worth?

It isn’t a surprise to see that the companies who are offering these policies are competitive businesses with high-octane workforces. Their people are driven to succeed and regularly put in the hours, so it’s unlikely that the best employees are going to take full advantage of the policy.

And then a precedent is set by the most hard-working, driven team members: the role models who lead the way. Everyone else follows suit, ironically resulting in people taking less annual leave than if they were simply limited to a set number of weeks per year. Management Today discusses how unlimited PTO can backfire, in the case on online messaging company Evernote:

…instead of staff taking more time off work the opposite happened and people stopped taking holiday altogether […] the problem became so acute that Evernote was forced to incentivise staff to actually leave the office by offering $1,000 (£657) for anyone taking at least five days holiday.

Feelings of guilt creep in, with people worrying about using the policy and the amount of time that they spend away from work. How much is too much? What’s the right balance?

When we’re faced with unlimited resources, we often struggle to make a wise choice and we end up by going for the inferior option. Whereas a fixed annual leave policy offers a clear directive to employees, unlimited choice means that employees have to decide for themselves how much is acceptable. And that’s a difficult decision which, as humans, our brains tend to shy away from.

So, offering such an ostensibly tempting benefit may well result in employees underutilising it, eventually leading to increased stress and burnout. There is such a thing as “too good to be true” – it’s wise to be wary of the flip side of freedom.

What do you think of unlimited vacation policies? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Karian and Box volunteer in Lesvos – the team’s story

The team’s story: safety for a few, but more continue to suffer

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Another day on the beach, and another dinghy full of refugees fleeing the war in Syria. Anyone who saw the haunting images of the starving families in Madaya cannot but understand the desperation of people fleeing war, hunger and death.

Millions remain in Syria, suffering immeasurably.

But yesterday, another dinghy did get through the many obstacles faced by the refugees in it.

Unlike the dinghy that collapsed last week (with four people drowning), this one got ashore safely after hours travelling from Turkey.

Numerous families were tired and cold and in need of high-energy fruit and juice. Our team helped with the task of welcoming the kids, some of whom were still frightened, and others bewildered.

Dan and Rebecca were especially good at comforting the younger ones, making sure they had warm clothes and food.

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It was a cold but clear day. The challenge for the next few days is that the weather is taking a turn for the worse, with heavy rain, sleet and snow forecast. The freezing temperatures will make it hard for the families making the crossing, and those in the camps.

But it is only one precarious step in the journey that many of these families will make. From Greece, they will trudge onwards to Germany, Sweden or other nations who have more willingly opened their arms and doors to them. But first, they have to navigate the bitter winter conditions of Macedonia, Hungary and /or Austria on the way.

As we said goodbye to those families we met briefly off the boats and in the camps, all of us wondered where they would end up.

What did the future hold for five year old Sami, one of the children we comforted, and the millions like him?