Newsletter, May 2015

One third of 2015 has already flown by – and what can we show for it? Quite a bit in fact, all based around our mantra of creating business value and social value hand in hand. Here are some highlights…

British Gas leaders and the social issues that matter

As part of a talent acceleration programme for leaders in the Residential Services area of British Gas, we ran a two-day module that aimed to promote an appreciation of diverse perspectives, complex environments and collaborative working. The vehicle was a project that immersed the leaders in a social issue of critical importance to British Gas – affordable warmth – in the heart of Middlesbrough, a city of relative fuel poverty. Our case study explains the impact on the participants and the local community.

Future talent and the world of IT

Two years ago we developed the “TCS Tech tcs-winnersChallenge” for Tata Consultancy Services, a world leader in IT consultancy. TCS wants to inspire a generation of young people into careers in IT; The Tech Challenge sees small teams of undergraduates take on assignments for charities in their university towns. The students, who are mentored by TCS consultants, learn new skills; the charities benefit from IT-based solutions to their challenges; and TCS builds relationships with their potential employees. And the winning team in the second year of the Tech Challenge was from… The University of Bristol. They worked with a local drugs charity to develop an app to help people manage their drug use. Read more here.

Preparing graduates for the world of work

Being ready for the world of work is not just about having the right qualifications and interests – it’s about being mentally prepared and displaying the attributes and characteristics needed to excel in the workplace. In typically progressive style Sky decided to include a module on resilience in its graduate training programme. Using real examples of everyday situations in the business we provided a day’s worth of experiential learning on how to handle everything that the modern workplace might throw at them, helping them develop strategies to not just survive, but thrive – as individuals and as a community of graduates.

Strategies for community investment

Community investment isn’t easy. If you want an approach that is anywhere near strategic there is a lot to get right – focusing on social themes that make sense to the business; worrying about outcomes as well as inputs; engaging senior leaders whilst mobilising colleagues at all levels; cutting through the noise of internal comms; developing great relationships with partners; and adopting a sound approach to measurement. We recently helped Rothschild to consider the next phase of their community programme by running focus groups with internal stakeholders, and in a similar vein we lent a hand to Investec, focusing on their relationships with charity partners.

It has all inspired us to develop our own model for community investment, with thoughts on why community investment is a critical part of the sustainability agenda, why “volunteering” is less and less about volunteering, and a process for investing in communities. Take a peek here.

That’s all for now. As ever, please do get in touch for a chat on the phone, over a coffee, or in the boardroom.

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