Newsletter, December 2022

Wow, it’s December already! The year has flown by and we’ve been so busy on brilliant projects with great businesses and great charities, that this is only our second update of 2022. So, it’s an opportunity to let you know about some of the highlights of the year and, I hope, a prompt for good things in 2023.

There is often a healthy overlap between our three strands of work of Community Impact, Leadership & Talent Development and Social Insight… 

Projects with Centrica’s top 80 leaders were a case in point; small teams volunteered all over the UK to support charities working at the sharp end of the cost of living crisis, gaining invaluable insight on challenges faced by British Gas customers and then bringing that insight firmly into their leadership landscape. See the short case study.

We’ve been working with Experian to develop a new Product Donation Programme, which makes their core data products and services available to a range of charities at no cost – and is a great example the kind of support that charities will really benefit from.

The big news in Social Insight is the development of our Lived Experts Research Community. We’ve gathered close to 200 people who represent a wide range of vulnerability circumstances and who want their voices heard in businesses. 

They have been helping us to bring insight into businesses on very present topics such as the cost of living crisis and fraud & scams, and less obvious ones such as the use of cash – see the short case study of our work with NatWest Group that sought to shed light on how and why millions of people still use cash.

Our lived experts have also been helping clients test products and services through the lenses of their vulnerability circumstances. Together with ‘critical friends’ from charities working at the ‘coalface’ of social issues, they’re a powerful ally in improving products, services and customer experiences during these very tough times. 

Talking of the cost of living crisis (and we’ve been talking about it a lot), Michael has written a great blog highlighting five things all businesses need to know.  It includes what is perhaps my quote of the year: “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some of us are on super yachts, some of us have just one oar.”

Projects in the world of Leadership & Talent Development continued to help participants to develop skills, build up an understanding of key social and environmental issues and deliver great outcomes for charities. 

With Pfizer we created the Early Careers Social Impact Programme, enabling an emerging talent cohort to develop key workplace skills by taking on challenging projects with charities and social enterprises working to improve health outcomes in society. See the case study and comments here.

At the future leaders level, we connected participants on Network Rail’s Accelerated Leaders Programme with social and environmental issues of relevance to the rail industry through year-long charity projects that underpinned their modular development programme.

And for a global financial services organisation, we set up forums for challenging and stimulating dialogue between senior leaders and key NGO partners, positioning ‘society’ and purpose as key elements of being a ‘connected leader’.

If any of this inspires you or your colleagues across the business as you think ahead to 2023 then please do get in touch!

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