Sunday, 25 July 2010

Big Society - Big Opportunity

I've just written the text below for the organiser of an event I'm speaking at in September. He said it 'sounds fabulous' which set me thinking. There's so much bullsh*t and hot air being spouted about Big Society yet so few actually getting off their backsides to be amongst the first to rise to the challenge?
Am I unusual? Surely not:
The words
How to create your own reality behind the rhetoric
Robert Ashton believes that social enterprise is about attitude and action. He says you need attitude to make a difference in a financially sustainable
way. He also believes in action, describing Big Society as 'an open door through which the brave must step to create the world they want to see.'
Right now he's working with three communities seeking to do just that. A village seeking to regenerate their community, creating jobs and improving local services; a community determined to create a new community hospital that can never be taken away and a school not willing to sit back and accept hat the end of BSF means the end of their hopes for a new school in 2012
Robert is also an author, his 12th book, 'How to be a Social Entrepreneur' is published in October and can be pre-ordered at this event.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Why do we so readily miss the obvious?

I ran a social enterprise 'netwalk' yesterday and made the mistake of leading the group last a village pub. Or at least I tried to lead the group past a pub. They unanimously decided it was time for a beer break and went in.

We asked the landlord what made his rural business successful? We were hoping for some useful tips we could take away and apply to our own businesses. He did not let us down. After much thought he smiled and said just one word: 'customers'.

He knew that pleasing customers was what made them keep coming back for more. Nothing complicated in that. Nothing challenging, just good old plain common sense.

Why then, do we worry about Business Link being disbanded. The answer perhaps is to stop complicating business and return to the basics. Satisfy your customers and you stay in business. Ignore them or fail to listen and adapt and no amount of clever consultancy will save you.