Measuring success in not only for profit organisations. Anyone who has been on a long journey with small children will recognise the refrain which usually starts 10 minutes into a 3 or more hour trip “Are we there yet, mum/dad?…”. Fortunately, the driver usually does know where they are going, and nowadays we often have a GPS to make sure of the route.
However, when you are running a small business or not for profit organisation, it can be difficult to set aside time to plan where you are trying to go, and how to get there – the day to day business nearly always takes up all the time available. It can also be difficult to take stock in an objective way to work out what is really important to your organisation, or to your stakeholders, and then to appraise how well you are actually meeting their needs.
Co-creating Value Collective (CCVC)has recognised the needs of social enterprises and associations – resources are limited, but the need to plan for the longer term, whilst delivering today, is as vital, if not more so, for small organisations as for large corporations. There is often a catalyst which brings the need to the fore. There may be external pressures, either from the general economic downturn: “we are under increasing pressure to demonstrate how we can provide better services and value for our clients and stakeholders”, or from cuts in budgets ; “we have to do more with ever fewer resources”. Or the catalyst may be from internal change in leadership, when you need to ensure that the whole team is fully signed up to new directions and opportunities.
Whatever the catalyst, the challenge remains to find time in the day job to reflect on the bigger picture and longer term objectives. The urgent tends always to win out over the important. CCVC recently worked with the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium to help them to reposition themselves in a more competitive market place. The Chamber has been in existence for over 100 years, and has seen many changes to which it has successively and successfully adapted. It is an organisation whose members are very engaged, so it was vital that all stakeholders were kept on board.
Working through a series of workshops and focused discussions, the insight emerged that members want to feel ‘connected’ more than ever when times are ‘turbulent’, to have personal connections and to feel part of the group. Members wanted to retain the “best of British values” in the way the Chamber operated, but to be more visible in an increasingly international context. The Chamber has ambitious targets for growth, not just for its own sake, but because it recognised that the services members wanted also needed to grow to meet increasing needs and demands.
To overcome the risk of its perception as an “old boys club”, a radical new image and branding was developed to meet the aspirations of members. With 80% of current Chamber members not British, the new vision is to be recognised as: “Whatever your business, wherever you’re from, the British Chamber is the essential network for you in the heart of Europe”. The new vision was backed up by a clear strategy, actions and goals, re-aligning the team to offer a more accountable, professional and values driven service. Has the new vision produced results? It is still early days, but the organisation is producing year on year growth all the more impressive in a competitive market place. With the accolades of Chamber of the Year awarded by its peers, and Trade Association of the Year awarded by the European Public Affairs, the Chamber is already well on its way.
For more information about the British Chamber of Commerce see www.britcham.be
For more information about Co-Creating Value Collective contact
Glynis Whiting at email@example.com or
Joost Visser at firstname.lastname@example.org