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Caring & Sharing in the Business Community

Caring & Sharing in the Business Community
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Working together can bring great results to both individual businesses and business communities

Creating such a dynamic in the workplace can not only reinforce a companyΓÇÖs structure but also generate a channel through which fresh ideas can be encouraged and added to the melting pot. Indeed the new ideas and perspectives feed into a company via a structured two-way process such as this can be hugely beneficial.

But imagine a company where pathways for fresh thinking are actively closed down or discouraged? In a culture where ideas and new perspectives are shut out, it is reasonable to assume that this lack of communication would over time spread to all levels of the business ΓÇô working its way from individual members of staff into entire departments and creating a ΓÇ£left hand doesnΓÇÖt know what the right was doingΓÇ¥ scenario ΓÇô clearly a recipe for disaster.

So if working together as a team can bring great rewards to individual businesses, can a similar approach by an entire business community generate the same kind of benefits?

When considering the impact of recession, where companies experienced a full range of difficult and often unique challenges, the opportunity to access a collective ΓÇ£knowledge potΓÇ¥ may have provided solutions to such challenges and allowed individual businesses to navigate the recession more successfully.

We counteracted this by having intelligence sharing sessions and allowed each company to explore how they were handling the problems they faced

Sallie Maskrey, Portal Business Centre

The challenge in achieving such a ΓÇ£Knowledge PotΓÇ¥ is creating the environment in which such an exchange can take place effectively. While business groups and organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce do impart knowledge to their members, their efforts can often seem disjointed and removed from a businesses day-to-day reality. This is why I believe business centres are a far more accessible and ΓÇ£realΓÇ¥ location for such exchanges to take place.

While businesses operating within any given business centre may not conduct actual business together on a regular basis, the fact that they share a common space and operate on a common level suggests to me that the opportunity to meet and / or seek advice from one another would be far more practical and persuasive.

A wonderful example of a business centre creating such a ΓÇ£knowledge potΓÇ¥ was brought to my attention this week by Sallie Maskrey of Portal Business Centres in Warrington. As a central business centre, Portal is at the heart of an active business community. With a current profile of satellite offices for larger corporate organisations and central offices for a wide range of local SMES the mix on offer seems perfect for a full and rounded exchange of knowledge – if the businesses involved are insightful enough to partake, which, as Sallie explains, they did;

ΓÇ£The biggest issue we faced in 2009 as a business community at the centre was the lack of confidence and negative news in the economy.ΓÇ¥ outlines Sallie before drawing my attention to collective action of her tenants ΓÇ£We counteracted this by having intelligence sharing sessions and allowed each company to explore how they were handling the problems they faced. Confidence is now stronger but still has some distance to goΓÇ¥

While it is wonderful to see these ideas in action, would they have proven as successful if the businesses involved did not share a common space and understanding? Personally I think not. Advice in all forms can be immensely useful, but the chance to interact, debate and explore issues with those in a similar position must surely offer greater rewards?

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Author: | March 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

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