21st November, 2017

Mary Roche, Nova Adviser - Community & Enterprise Development, has written a blog post on attending Wakefield Bondholders events.

Wakefield Bondholders is a network of local business people who believe in the district and work to support each other and develop opportunities to improve it for those who live, work and visit the district.

Once a month there is a business breakfast which brings people together for a couple of hours to network and explore different themes suggested by participants. I have been attending some to increase Nova and the Community Anchor Network’s exposure. For £10 per session you can go along, have breakfast and a chat. 

Last week I attended the latest Bondholders event which focused on raising profiles. As I listened/participated it made me reflect on what had been achieved by attending the First Friday business networks. The session was delivered by Penny Haslam who used to be BBC Breakfast presenter; she shared her experience of a theory that works: 

Commanding the Competitive Edge - Getting out there

In a review of her performance at the BBC, the PIE theory was shared – performance isn’t everything – a spotlight moment.

P =25% of the pie - Performance i.e. delivery

I = 25% of the pie – Image – self-esteem, pride, what others think

E = 50% of the pie – Exposure – getting out there - can be scary but needs practice e.g. remember driving lesson - how will I be able to do everything - it becomes automatic

Performance (25%)

  • Distracted by detail
  • stop colouring in / making it look good /wasting time/ prevaricating
  • draw your future / be clear
  • performance perfection is not helpful- want to be liked/trusted

Image (25%)

  • new space - fashion yourself as that of an expert
  • communication information, confident, concise, brevity and gravitas
  • fashion your image - repeat business e.g. Pur Gum – he has positioned himself as an expert on aspartame not gum, not selling gum but an alternative to sugar and aspartame in gum. Back door PR. How can you be useful to the market/news – campaign / trail issue to raise profile.

Exposure (50%)

  • visibility is very important
  • script to assist belief in you
  • script to trust in you
  • capitalising in what’s available for free
  • use – knowledge, experience, be passionate, e.g. speak on a panel as an expert, get involved in awards, offer a radio interview, identify +ve role models
  • use local radio
  • use social media

There are many opportunities for Nova to use this model, but it is resource intensive.

Would Board members be able to contribute to ‘expert’ opportunities?

Wakefield Bondholders are a network of local business people who believe in the district and work to support each other and develop opportunities to improve it for those who live, work and visit the district.

I started attending after Wakefield Business Week in June. The launch event included 2 international Wakefield based businesses. Both established by 2 local businessmen who are committed to the district and provide fantastic career opportunities for local people. If you don’t know about them have a look at these links:

Another event that week was:

Hospitality and the Retail Revolution held at Unity Works

The contacts I made here were with:

  • Jenny Layfield – Chair of Wakefield’s Culture Consortium, Visitors Champion

Wakefield Cultural Consortium, consisting 16 local organisations, has been awarded £223,000 from Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations initiative, for a three-year programme, to enhance local cultural offerings and encourage visitors to Wakefield.

  • I was interested in engaging local people in local cultural opportunities as well as their contributions to making the district attractive to visitors which are important for the economy. In 2016 tourism in Wakefield was worth £395m to the local economy.
  • I arranged to meet with Jenny (September 2017) to talk about Nova and the Community Anchors. I shared the experience of Culture Cures research carried out by target area Community Anchors and the resulting work with arts organisations to commission local events that will impact on local health and wellbeing.
  • Jenny recognised that working with Community Anchors would bring a different dimension to the community consultation for the Arts Council funded project. We are planning to meet again to take this forward .
  • David Owens and Elizabeth Murphy – Wakefield Business Improvement District

David is Chair of the Wakefield Bid and Elizabeth is the manager.

David runs the Beer Exchange in Wakefield and has extensive experience in the industry which includes training and raising standards of service delivery internationally. He has a vision for Purple Flag status for Wakefield and an element of achieving this would be based on a Charter of Standards linked to the night time economy which breaks down into the following which is from Philip Kolvin QC’s Night Time Economy Manifesto:

5.00 – 8.00 pm after work – keep people who work in area here to socialise/network

8.00 – 11.00 pm after dinner drinks-excellent restaurants and theatre – don’t go straight home

11.00 – 2.00 am should be winding down – weekend socialising

2.00 – 5.00 am 18-25 year olds

There is room for everyone if managed well. Applying this manifesto and working in partnership with local people, police etc will impact on the anti-social behaviours which is often linked to the district. People need to be engaged in solutions which is where if adequately resourced the Community Anchors and the Third Sector can play a part. The Office of Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is very committed to working with the Third Sector to deliver the West Yorkshire Police & Crime Plan and there are some excellent case studies in the district which need to be celebrated.

The Wakefield Community Safety Partnership has representation from the Third Sector and there is the opportunity to bid for funding to deliver on this agenda.

If you have an idea that could fit this agenda let me know and we can work together to submit applications to the Safer Communities Fund.

September Bondholder – Women in Business

Merran McRae – Chief Executive Wakefield Council

Merran was a guest speaker at the Bondholders Women in Business event in September. As new CEO her view of Wakefield is that it punches above its weight, her priority is not to fix it but to raise its performance even higher – a UK success story that works for everyone.

The priorities are:

  • Arts & Culture – the district is not seen as a destination but a place to visit e.g. for the Hepworth, Xscape etc. It needs shaping to build on these opportunities for tourism.
  • Retail is struggling – not just in Wakefield but by linking the High Streets to the cultural experiences there is the opportunity to develop a niche shopping experience
  • Connecting big & small businesses linked through local supply chains. The council is reviewing its procurement processes to lead by example.
  • Skills & Jobs – Wakefield has a low skill economy and in work poverty has shifted priorities from having a job to the type of job, and in work skills development. Entry levels to some careers are often low skilled but with career pathways in work can make a significant difference to people’s lives - Health & Social Care is an example of this.
  • Future proofing the economy – the impact of technology on employment. There are manufacturers in Wakefield where in 5 years there will be ‘dark factories’ i.e. fully automated. There will be a loss of traditional labour and indications are that professional services will be next area to be affected e.g. legal profession. We need to prepare people for change.

As a result of this meeting Merran is guest speaker at Nova’s AGM on 22 November. I would recommend joining Wakefield Bondholders , there are special rates for charities, – it’s good for them and us.

Mary Roche

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